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Collared Lizard

Crotaphytus collaris

  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Adult Size: 10 to 16 inches
  • Range: Mexico and the southwestern U.S., extending into the midwestern U.S.
  • Habitat: Thrives in a broad range of conditions from grassy meadows and hillsides to rocky deserts.
  • Captive Lifespan: 5 to 8 Years
  • Dangerous:
  • Care Level: Intermediate

Overview

If collared lizards grew to the size of Komodo dragons, they would probably prey upon them. Crotaphytus are voracious predators on other lizard species, although they don’t pass up the chance to snack on insects and other small vertebrates. Juvenile collared lizards concentrate more on insects whereas adult collared lizards take small mice. Collared lizards proportionately large heads are equipped with large jaws that can kill prey animals with a few quick bites.

Keeping collared lizards fat and healthy in captivity requires feeding them a lot, and often! This active lizard’s high metabolism demands nearly daily consumption of food to maintain its weight and health. Baby rodents and large insects – the greater variety the better – will satisfy their needs adequately.

Place a heat lamp over one corner of their 4 foot-plus long enclosure so they can rapidly warm up each morning to their desired hunting temperature, which ranges from the mid 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit. A small water bowl is fine, but collared lizards really enjoy drinking from droplets of water that are sprayed down in simulation of rain. Most specimens are spastic and shy away from being handled.

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