Looking For A First Lizard

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by Karlie, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Karlie

    Karlie New Member

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    Hi there,
    I have been begging my parents for ages to let me get a pet lizard and my mum has agreed that if I keep up my chores for the next year that she will talk my dad into letting me get one. I am an insane animal lover and have been obsessed with animals my entire life and this isn't just a one off. The only problem I have encountered is not knowing what species to get. I have limited room and I'd say lizards that bigger than a meter would probably end up being too big for the space that I have. Although I do like larger lizards over smaller ones. I'm also unsure of which lizards are easiest to keep for beginners as no one in my family has kept a lizard before although most of the caring will be up to me. I am aware that keeping lizards can get quite expensive and am aware that I will need to obtain a licence which is quite costly as well, so a lizard that is possibly on the lower price range would be more suitable to my budget. So what lizard would you suggest that would best fit my circumstances? The most important ones to me are space cost and level of difficulty rather than size preference.
    Thanks in advance

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that the lizard would preferable have to be a solitary lizard as I am not interested in breeding.
     
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  2. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Are there any species of lizard that you like or find interesting? How much space do you have? What exactly are you looking for in a pet lizard? Most lizards generally prefer to live solitary lives except perhaps the Egernia species, so you'll have no problem finding one that fits that description. Lizards that acquire lengths of up to a metre and over require a large amount of space to enable them to effectively move about their homes. Blue Tongues or Bobtails/Shinglebacks are a good beginner's lizard. Most range in size from 25-30cm snout to vent length. They're easy to care for, get to a decent size and most tolerate handling quite well. I suggest you find some good lizard keeping books such as A Guide to . . . Australian Lizards in Captivity by Dr Danny Brown or Keeping and Breeding Australian Lizards edited by Mike Swan. Good luck. Lizards can be quite addictive, so be careful there.
     
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  3. Karlie

    Karlie New Member

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    Well probably one of the walls in my room is where the tank will sit, it will fit a tank that is 1.5m at the most, height wouldn't be a problem but the tank wouldn't be very deep. I absolutely love Eastern water dragons but have come to the conclusion that they are much to big for the amount of space I have available. I also like the look of Boyd's forest dragons but were a little worried that they wouldn't be suitable for a beginner. What I would be looking for in a lizard is one that wouldn't mind occasional handling and I really do like the dragon like look of lizards. I'm also not a fan of small lizards as I love bigger/ medium sized ones in all sorts of animals (big dogs, cats, birds etc.) The look of the lizard, however, is not a huge deciding factor for me. I like on the Sunshine Coast so it can get colder here in the winter months and quite humid in summer months although I know a lot of temperature control is inside the enclosure.Thanks for the help, I will be sure to check those books out.
     
  4. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    1.5m long (1.4m length inside tank) is plenty for a single adult bearded dragon , a single adult bluetongue skink or pink tongue skink, a shingleback skink.
    OR
    a few netted dragons, a few pygmi beardies, a group of water skinks. I don't think you'd want more than 3 of any of these a tank about 1.4-1.5m long.

    I think you'll enjoy any of these and don't discount the smaller dragons and skinks as they can become very tame and great pets too. The interactions in social lizards like those suggested will be a constant source of entertainment.
     
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  5. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Welcome to APS.
    For size, the lizards named above are some of your best choices. For handleability, beardies or blue tongues would probably top the list for a beginner. Both are virtually bulletproof too, and very easy to look after. And either of the books Oshkii mentioned are a must too. Any questions after that, post away. :)
     
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  6. Karlie

    Karlie New Member

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    If I was going for multiple of a smaller lizard, would I have to be concerned with breeding as this is not something I want to happen
     
  7. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    The eastern water skinks mentioned above actually give live birth, so they are probably the easiest option for you if you were to have multiples. If you keep multiple lizards, you always run the risk of them breeding. Unless you can guarantee same sex, and then you are probably safer with all female, as males can fight each other (not so much the water skinks).
     
  8. Karlie

    Karlie New Member

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    If they do end up breeding, is it difficult to care for the baby lizards until they are old enough to sell?
     
  9. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you're a fan of dragon lizards then Bearded Dragons would be a good choice. They're fairly easy to care for and over East you can keep the larger species such as the Eastern and Central. They're probably some of the best handlers amongst the dragon lizards. I would also suggest Netted Dragons. They may not be very big but they have heaps of personality and are a lot more energetic compared to Bearded Dragons. My pair are very inquisitive and friendly. Most days they are practically launching themselves out of their enclosure onto my hands. If you're concerned about breeding then simply just have the one lizard. Most lizards are quite happy living solitary lives, in fact, most prefer to live solitary lives. Males are usually the best as they generally are the more colourful and largest out of the sexes. They're usually cheaper than females too.
     
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  10. Callum Dureau

    Callum Dureau Active Member

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    Like everyone else is saying, a blue tongue or some sort of dragon is a good starter lizard. I would not recommend geckos for a starter lizard though... some can be tough to care for. The only problem with bearded dragons is the space they require, and how big the tank has to be. But they are a good lizard, and easy to care for.
     
  11. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Actually, Boyd's Forest Dragons aren't difficult to keep if you manage the enclosure to suit them. They don't like too much heat or strong light, unlike other dragons, and they are truly spectacular, especially adult males. They like a bit of humidity, and also spend a lot of time on vertical sapling "tree trunks" so don't need a huge amount of room. I've actually kept them outdoors here near Port Macquarie for about 4 years now, with no problems. They just disappear in the enclosure from late April till October, and I see them again as the weather warms up. But all dragons are great...

    Jamie
     
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  12. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    My observation of wild water skinks (I've a large group living under my house , in my shed and in my garden) is they are great moms , they stay close to babies for a few weeks , and seem to look after each others babies when the mothers are related to each other.
    I think if you provide lots of food and multiple basking perches and multiple hide (too small for the adults to get into that the babies can take refuge in you'll be OK).
    More likely is you'll have to watch the father - if he's hungry and a baby comes too close he might make a snack of it.
    My old water skink (Wriggles) was a great pet, was uber tame, loved snuggles and climbing all over me, and she was super inquisitive, very smart (even came when I called her by name), and was very social with us, and even let visitors pat her. Wish I'd bought more than one EWS when bought her.

    Caring for baby skinks is dead easy , plenty of appropriate sized live feeder insects a couple of times a day, plenty of UVB (only need 5% UVB for bluetongue and water skinks) , a nice warm basking spot (about 35oC) , access to a bedding they can dig in and borrow through, plenty of hides, separate any babies who show aggression and dominance behaviours over siblings (avoids injuries through bite attacks), access to fresh water (to drink - skinks love a nice guzzle, and water skinks love to swim and splash about too).

    Bluetongues as juveniles and adults are easy to find for sale about this time of year.
    Water skinks are not so easy to find , very few breeders.
    Central and pygmi beardies are very easy to find about this time of year, lots of breeders.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  13. Karlie

    Karlie New Member

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    Thanks heaps, I've had a look into the species that have been mentioned and practically fallen in love with the pygmy beardies and am even considering getting two as they sound like the kind of dragon that I am looking for. It will be a while until I am allowed to get one for myself so I will continue to research to make sure that this dragon suits me. Thanks so much for all your help :)
     
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  14. Mysticlizard

    Mysticlizard Not so new Member

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    What did u end up getting? In 11 days it has been a year since ur last comment
     
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