Care Guide for Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizards, also known as the Crotaphytus collaris, are beautiful reptiles native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. These lizards require specific conditions and care to thrive in captivity. Here is a detailed care guide to ensure your Eastern Collared Lizard remains happy and healthy:
- The ideal enclosure for an adult Eastern Collared Lizard should be at least 4ft in length, ideally 4ft x 2ft x 2ft.
- Provide a mix of substrates, such as sand, Beardie Life, Leo Life or Biolofe Desert, ensuring it is deep enough for burrowing.
- Keep the enclosure clean by spot cleaning daily and performing a thorough cleaning once a month.
2. Temperature and Lighting:
- Eastern Collared Lizards require a temperature gradient in their enclosure. Provide a basking spot with a temperature of 95-100°F (35-38°C) which allows for thermoregulation.
- Maintain a cooler side with temperatures around 75-85°F (24-29°C) for proper digestion and comfort.
- Provide UVB lighting for 10-12 hours a day to promote vitamin D synthesis and prevent metabolic bone disease. Replace UVB bulbs every 6-12 months.
- Eastern Collared Lizards are insectivores. Feed them a variety of appropriately sized gut-loaded insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.
- Dust their food with a high-quality reptile calcium supplement at least three times a week, and a multivitamin supplement once a week.
- Provide a water dish that is large enough for the lizard to soak in. Change the water daily to maintain cleanliness.
- Eastern Collared Lizards will also benefit from regular misting to facilitate drinking and maintain humidity levels. Mist their enclosure once or twice a day.
- Maintain a humidity level of around 30-40%
6. Enrichment and Environmental Needs:
- Eastern Collared Lizards are active and love to climb. Provide branches, rocks, and shelves for them to explore and bask on.
- Picking rocks and logs from outside may introduce harmful parasites, so use pet-safe items or disinfect outdoor items thoroughly.
- Offer hiding spots such as caves and tunnels to help simulate their natural habitat.
- Eastern Collared Lizards may tolerate handling but should be approached with caution, especially if they feel threatened or stressed.
- Allow the lizard time to acclimate to its new environment before attempting handling.
- Always wash your hands before and after handling to prevent the transfer of bacteria.
8. Health and Veterinary Care:
- Eastern Collared Lizards should receive routine veterinary check-ups to detect any health issues early on.
- Look out for signs of appetite loss, weight loss, lethargy, respiratory problems, or any physical abnormalities.
- If you suspect your lizard is unwell, consult a reptile-experienced veterinarian immediately.
By following these care guidelines, you can provide a suitable and enriching environment for your Eastern Collared Lizard, ensuring its well-being.