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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Collared Lizard

Collared Lizard


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Traits & behavior

They eat mostly live crickets and other insects, but also need small amounts of chopped fruits and vegetables.

This means they're active during the day and sleep at night.

Collared lizards are healthiest and happiest living alone.

Things to remember

Always supervise children when they're interacting with your lizard.

Give your pet 3-4 days to adjust to his new home, then try holding him for short amounts of time only. Take care to never handle him by the tail - it could break off.

Collared lizards come from a desert environment and need a warm, dry home.


Food safety

  • Insects - Remove uneaten insects from the habitat at the end of the day; do not allow to remain in habitat overnight
  • Fruits & vegetables - Fresh foods require their own dish and should be removed from the habitat after four hours to prevent spoilage

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.


Crickets & worms
They eat live, "gut loaded" (feed the insects a special supplement so they have extra nutrients) crickets, mealworms or waxworms.

Feeding frequency & amount (insects)
Feed juveniles twice a day; adults 3-4 times a week - offer an amount that can be consumed by the end of the day.

Fruits & vegetables
Kale, collard and mustard greens, zucchini and shredded carrots should be 25% of a juvenile's diet; 50% for adults. Add small amounts of fruits like berries, banana or melon.

Calcium dust

"Dust" the insects with a calcium supplement twice a week - ask a PetSmart associate for details.

Provide water in a shallow dish and mist all surfaces of the habitat once a day to provide drinking water and maintain humidity.


Signs of a healthy collared lizard:

  • Curious, active behavior
  • Clear, alert eyes
  • Sheds regularly during growth
  • Eats and drinks normally
  • Breathes easily
  • Well-formed droppings every 2-3 days

Things to watch for:

  • Runny droppings or red streaks in droppings for more than two days
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs above, please consult an experienced Reptile Veterinarian as soon as possible.


Use a 30-gallon or larger, long glass terrarium with a screen lid for proper ventilation.

Hiding & basking
Include a basking area close to the heat source. Also add a wood or rock hiding place in the cool area of the home.

Keep the humidity level at or near 35%. A hygrometer (humidity gauge) will help you keep track.


  • Day - Maintain a daytime temperature between 85-95° F
  • Basking - Provide a basking spot lamp to create a localized basking area of 110-120° F
  • Night - Maintain a nighttime temperature between 60-75° F Maintain a nighttime temperature between 65-75° F (use a ceramic heat emitter if necessary)
  • Place a thermometer at each end of the home to monitor temperatures

Use a daytime UVA/UVB fluorescent bulb for approximately 12 hours of light per day to help your pet process calcium.

Line the terrarium floor with 2"- 3" of calcium sand. Clean out waste weekly and change bedding at least once a month.

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