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Pet Lizard Suggestions?

When I have my own place, I'd like to get a lizard (I hate the word lizard, but reptiles is too broad a term). I'd like something that is intelligent. I once went to a reptile expo and saw a really smart looking lizard. When I came over he was checking me out and seemed to be aware of what was happening around him. I'd like something that is curious of new things and such.

I'd like one that is herbivorous or omnivorous, but I guess an insectivore will do. I don't want one that has very strict dietary needs that must be adhered to. By that, I mean I don't want something that's high maintenance like a tortoise (not a lizard), that ends up getting vitamin A, D, etc., deficiencies and ends up becoming sick.

I want something that is interactive too, that has a good temperament, and perhaps no sharp teeth. Preferably, I'd like one that doesn't get much more than two feet in length. I want something that's reasonably easy to take care of, and doesn't have a lot of specialized care requirements (ie: a basking rock at exactly 120°; half the tank cool with the other side 80°; can only eat food that has been sautéed in a fine olive oil and ginger sauce...). I don't want something that has annoying care requirements like that. Like, I'm willing to provide for a lizards special needs, but not if it means somehow keeping half the tank cool while providing it with a basking rock that is 120°. I don't want a gecko or bearded dragon. Thanks.
I'm not sure if there are any lizards that don't need basking rocks and special diets. I can think of only few that are good beginner's pets, but they're either geckos or something else small. Most reptiles are actually very aware and interested in the world around them, they just show that interest in a very non-human manner. OPnce you tune in to the animal's body language, you'll see it. They're all watching you.

I never recommend beardies to beginners, anyways. While I found mine to be easy, it was because I read up on them and took care of all the "annoying care requirements."
yeah, you are going at this all wrong. you mustn't look for a low maintenance lizard that doesnt have any special needs but look for one whos needs you can best meet.

almost all will want a warm and a cool area in their tanks. its in their nature to regulate their body temp themselves by relocating.
It honestly does not sound like you are ready for a reptile. Every species has specific environmental and dietary needs which will require some form of heating/cooling, supplementation and most likely UVB lighting. The fact that you would even think of using a hot rock or not providing a proper temperature gradient shows that you need to do some serious reading before you consider bringing something home.
I'm not sure, but it sounds like keeping any companion animal may not be appropriate for you. That said, I do know of a Green Terror that is very intelligent, aware and interactive with humans in his surroundings. He is doing well eating prepared food purchased at a pet store. He is happy with his entire enclosure being kept the same temperature. He does have rather sharp teeth but interactions do not include actual touching. Although the 100 gallon tank upkeep may also be more effort than you seem to want to provide.
It sounds like I phrased what I said wrong. I own(ed) fish and spent over a thousand dollars on them and they're only freshwater. When I keep plants and animals, I want to meet all their requirements, and I give animals more than ample room to be happy. I'm more than happy to provide basking rocks and cool areas in a setup. What I meant was, some of the lizards I read about have many very specific needs that can be difficult to provide. One I read about (uromastyx??? mountain dragon????) required the enclosure to be in the eighties or something, while somehow providing a basking rock that was 120°. That was probably some sketchy info though... I know that my leopard geckos got little burns if their substrate was in the mid-eighties even. And when I was talking about dietary requirements, I just meant I didn't want something that had to have a carefully measured and planned meals. I get stressed out with my parrots because all their dietary needs are ver strict and can be hard to provide. Like, it's hard to provide them with protein and vitamin D and stuff. And if they get a draft they can end up dying. I should probably be fine meeting dietary requirements of lizards. I also know a reasonable amount about lizards. Also, I don't necessarily need something that is low maintenance persay. Like, what's something that'd be considered high maintenance?
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In all seriousness, an iguana might fit almost all of your requirements, except for the adult size. I love that they can survive without the exacting live food requirements of many lizards. And if you think parrots are difficult, stay away from sugar gliders.

An Anole is an easy starter lizard (they get about 6 inches), but they are happiest and calmest living in groups so maybe get 3 to six Green or Brown Anoles if you want to get started with reptiles. You can create a planted terrarium with live plants and branches that arch up near the lights for them to climb on and bask or climb under to take shade under. I had a baby brown Anole hatch from a philodendron plant I ordered off ebay so suddenly one labor day I had a 1" long pet reptile "materialize" in my terrarium. It probably ran me about $50-$75 to get all the proper lamps and bits and pieces to accommodate my "free" lizard, plus the live crickets for her to eat for the next 4 years, vitamin supplements, etc.

Before you get anything though, do a google search for Anoles (or whatever you want to get) and see if you can find an online forum to ask and learn about them before you get anything even some cheap $5 Anoles.
Before I decide on anything, I'll definitely put a lot of research in. Actually, I think the only must haves for a lizard would be it doesn't grow large and that it doesn't require a lot of attention (ie: handling).
  • #10
Don't get a Tokay Gecko, unless you like being bit, and barked at. I love them, lol.

I have some friends with bearded dragons, one of them lets her dragon sit on her shoulder while she watches movies etc, really cool. I may get one some day. They are dessert animals, so they can be easier to "maintain" from what I have been told. But a lot of what I know is just pet shop lore/ what friends said, so take it for what it's worth.
  • #11
Biting sounds like fun :p. I kind of like mountain horned dragons. How are they?
  • #12
Anoles don't really like to be handled and stay about 6" snout to tail tip and are more laid back when kept in a group. Mainly if you mist their enclosure at least once a day so they can get a drink and put some crickets in every other day (if you see the previous ones have been eaten) and don't pester them much they'll be happier than someone who's reaching in at them every day trying to catch them and "snuggle" them.

Most reptiles can not really be said to "enjoy" affection, basically some will "tolerate" handling better than others.
  • #13
Man, I remember that time I saw that baby anole in Florida. It was less than an inch in size and was eating little ants. It was so cute!
  • #14
For the absolute epitome of ultra-low maintainence, you could always get a Varanus plasticus :D

  • #17
I have kept reptiles for over six years, and I know how you feel towards leopard geckos and beardies. Too mainstream! But unfortunately they are so mainstream because of the traits you are seeking: inexpensive, easy to provide for, and handle able.
I have found that the less common species of Rhacodactylus are very easy to care for and very interactive, while remaining obsolete to the overall reptile community. I recommend gargoyle geckos! They are amazing and you should do some research on the critters.

Good Growing,
  • #18
I've been a reptile breeder for 20+ years and I really hate threads like this. First off, figure out what needs and conditions you can actually and adequately provide. Choose what species will work best for you with the means you have access to. Thirdly, stay off the internet when it comes to living things and shell out the $9.00 or so for a decent book written by a reputable breeder who works extensively on what species you decide upon.
  • #19
I've been a reptile breeder for 20+ years and I really hate threads like this. First off, figure out what needs and conditions you can actually and adequately provide. Choose what species will work best for you with the means you have access to. Thirdly, stay off the internet when it comes to living things and shell out the $9.00 or so for a decent book written by a reputable breeder who works extensively on what species you decide upon.

Well spoken!

May I ask what species you bred?