A lizard as a pet is not so rare nowadays.
However, to choose a reptile, which is suitable for keeping in the apartment, and to equip his home properly is only a part of the care. For full growth and development, it is necessary to provide proper nutrition. But what is the lizard diet? After all, different types of lizards eat differently. Let’s deal with it.
What do lizards eat in nature?
Most of them are predators and feed on insects, worms, and small vertebrates.
- Lizards are larger sometimes hunting fish, can catch another lizard, amphibian, snake, bird, mammal.
- They also like to eat bird eggs.
- Sometimes, they sit on a voluntary diet, eating only vegetable food for a while.
Vegetable reptiles are much smaller than predators, and they are not “pure” vegetarians, as they periodically switch to a carnivorous diet.
Thus, most of these creatures can be considered omnivorous.
What kind of animal food can be used in domestic conditions?
This type of food should form the main part of the diet. You can use flies, moths, grasshoppers, locusts, rainworms. To prevent them from scattering over the terrarium, it is better to give them with tweezers.
- Flour worms are also useful (they must first crush their heads with tweezers).
- Some lizards do not squeal with May bugs. But in general, it is undesirable to feed the beetles, because their cover is too hard.
- Also not recommended as food cockroaches, as they are too fast.
- You can try to give American beetles by ripping off their legs beforehand.
If the lizard is large, then fit mice, small rats, and other rodents recently hatched chicks. It is not often possible to give small or sliced fish, nonfat raw meat without bones, birds eggs.
Experts also advise to feed the cottage cheese left in the trough, or decomposed on branches of plants and stones.
What kind of plant food can be used in domestic conditions?
This type of food is about a third of the total diet. You can treat yourself to it:
- Greens – salad, parsley, plantain, spinach, clover, dandelion, etc.
- Vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, raw potatoes (rarely).
- Fruit – apples, pears, melons, grapes, citrus.
Here you can experimentally find out the pet’s preferences.
Nutritional mixture and supplements
It is possible to prepare a nutritious mixture, which is very popular with lizards. For this, you will need meat and carrots (1:1). The meat should be grinded on a meat grinder, and the carrots should be grated on a grater. Then mix it all, add little salad leaves, calcium, vitamin supplements. The nutrient mixture is ready.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the health, bright appearance, vigor, and liveliness of lizards. They are not given in a pure form but must be mixed with food.
Most often use raw crushed eggshells, calcium glycerophosphate in tablets, chalk, and specialized preparations for reptiles.
How to feed and drink
It is better to use troughs of the Petri dish type, i.e. transparent and similar to low cylinders. They are very convenient to give vegetable food.
Animal food is given with tweezers or also put into the trough. Gastronomic novelties should be introduced gradually, gradually adding to the already familiar products, otherwise, they may be abandoned.
The frequency of feeding for young lizards is twice a day, and for adults – once. Food is given during the period of the highest activity of the pet day or night.
Malnourished food is removed from the terrarium. If a lizard refuses to eat, but it drinks and is active, there is no need to panic, so it relieves your body.
Drinking in the terrarium should be obligatory. It should take the most stable container so that the pet can not turn it over.
Water should be changed daily so that it is always fresh and clean.
Some lizards prefer to lick drops of water from plants, so they will have to be sprayed regularly.
What you should not feed the lizards
Of course, these are dishes from the human table, which lizards categorically do not fit.
- You should not be too fond of the flour worm, because in vitamin and mineral ratio it loses to other food.
- You should not give cockroaches caught in the apartment, on the site, etc., as they can be poisoned.
- Insects collected in the field are not a good idea either, because they may be filled with pesticides.
- Maggot is the easiest to find, but it cannot be given to reptiles categorically, because it has external digestion, and lizards are easily poisoned with it.
- Cabbage should not be given to herbivorous reptiles because it washes calcium out. Also, pets do not want to give non-seasonal fruit and vegetables, as these products often require a high duration of storage, so they are treated with various chemicals, to which the animal body can respond negatively.
It is necessary to be prepared for the fact that fixed food objects lizard will not eat, so the insects must be alive or half alive.
So, we looked at the general issues of captive lizard feeding. Now let’s take a short walk through the preferences of some individual species, which are most often kept at home.
Each species has its own food
A lizard in vivo eats small yeasts, spiders, grasshoppers, and insects. In captivity, it can be fed with flies, crickets, mosquitoes, spiders, cockroaches, flour and worms, a nutrient mixture of meat and carrots, fruit, and vegetable mixtures.
Chameleons are suitable as food for flies, cockroaches, crickets. Do not forget about vitamin supplements. There is a special dry food on sale, but it is better not to use it very often. You can periodically treat your pet to pieces of banana, citrus, grapes.
Geckos agree only on live food: spiders, crickets, flies, cockroaches, locusts, and others, as well as worms. Large animals can be fed mice and rats naked, as well as quail eggs. In the terrarium, be sure to put water and “bird stone” powder. Bananas, oranges, marmalade, and honey are delicacies for geckos.
Moloch (thorny dragon or thorny devil) is difficult to keep at home, but in zoos, it is found. This Australian lizard eats only ants and can eat them 600-2500 at a time!
Skinks can be given the same food insects as the above species, supplemented by snails, pink mice, caterpillars, squid, day-old chopped chickens, ready-made food mixes for reptiles, and even dry dog food. They will not give up on vegetables, fruits, seeds, buckwheat, rice. Occasionally, you can give liver beef and heart (chicken or beef).
Iguana is a herbivore, and it is very selective in food. In nature, it eats only the leaves of trees. In captivity, it can and should be given spinach, cabbage, turnip, broccoli, and other dark green leafy vegetables. The second half of the diet consists of other vegetables, such as carrots, peppers and potatoes sweet, peas, beans, and others. Alfalfa in the form of pellets is very useful (sold in the pet store). It is recommended to give fruit infrequently and little by little. Vitamin and mineral supplements are obligatory.
Monitor lizards. It is believed that they are unpretentious and eat with pleasure as fresh food for other lizards, as well as games with perfume. In captivity, they can be given frogs, mice, chickens, small vertebrates, insects, cockroaches, earthworms, fish, pieces of meat, chicken eggs, etc.
Agamid lizards prefer protein food at a young age, adults are more likely to eat plant food. These curious lizards can be given dolls and Hawkman larvae, flour worms, bought in the pet store crickets, and cockroaches. From the vegetable, agamid lizards can offer leaf salad, pumpkin, cucumbers, and other vegetables from the list of permitted products.
Here we have learned what the lizard diet is. What they can be fed and what they do not want to eat. We hope that this information will be useful because the right and balanced diet directly affect the health and life expectancy of these animals.