Guest Author - Peyton Creadick
Welcome to part three of our four part series on the best and worst lizards for beginners! This week, weíll take a look at Tokay geckos, Uromastyx, and Day geckos. For the more experienced keeper, these lizards make great pets.
With its exceptional coloring and size, our first gecko makes an impressive (and relatively easy to care for) pet. Itís temperament, however, is not for the faint of heart. Instances of biting and failing to release have been reported by numerous owners. One of my first bites by a gecko was a Tokay gecko. Apparently, it didnít appreciate my attempt to fill its water dish. Luckily, it was a warning bite, and the gecko let go immediately.
On the internet, youíll find information about how to make a Tokay release you. Youíll also find instructions on taming Tokays. It IS possible, but itís not for the faint of heart. If you must have a Tokay, read up on taming and temperament issues before purchasing your gecko. It will drastically improve your experiences with your gecko.
Our next worst lizard is more of a worst genus. Day geckos are beautiful. Their dietary requirements are not difficult. They require humid planted terrariums and privacy. If youíre experienced with plants or terrariums, and if you are, youíre ahead of the game!
There are two important things to remember. First, they require more advanced lighting. You must buy and replace annually full spectrum fluorescent lighting. Do your research. This is extremely important. Problems with calcium absorption can start without warning, cause deformities, and eventually take your geckoís life.
Second, Day Gecko skin is delicate and tears easily. Catching an escaped Day Gecko often results in injuries to the skin, especially if the owner has little experience in this department. Take heart, the skin will usually heal, but there will always be a scar to remind you of the experience.
If you are ready for a Day Gecko, there are additional considerations. New Day Gecko owners should consider a larger species like Grandis (Giant Day Gecko). The small species are can be difficult to feed. They can, however, often be housed in communal environments. The larger Day Geckos should be house singly or in opposite sex pairings. Males are territorial and will fight.
Our last worst lizard is also more of a worst genus. Uromastyx are great pets, but they come from some of the driest, hottest, and harshest environments in the world. This means they have more demanding husbandry requirements such as high heat, low humidity, ventilation, and cage environments designed for active lizards.
One important thing to remember is that many Uromastyx are wild caught. Make sure to purchase captive bred. If you must purchase wild caught, please make sure you have an experienced reptile vet check the animal after purchase. Mortality is high among imported lizards. Be careful, and your lizard will thank you by living a long and healthy life.
Next week, weíll be taking a look at True Chameleons, Iguanas, and large monitors. As you can guess, size matters with the latter two. These are all incredible lizards, but tackling a species above your skill level can mean certain disaster. Research!
See you next week!