Long-Tailed Grass Lizard Care

Long-Tailed Grass Lizard (Takydromus sexlineatus), also known as Asian grass lizard and six-striped long-tailed lizard

Popularity: Make good pets because they are calm and tolerate handling well.

Origin: Southeast Asia

Native habitat: savanna

Size: 8-12 inchs

Lifespan: 5 or more years

Appearance: The lizard is easily recognized by its abnormally long tail, which is three times longer than its body. The underbelly is white to cream colored. The back is brown or beige, and it frequently has brown stripes of varying shades. The head is usually small with a sharply pointed snout and black or pink tongue. The body is somewhat elongated and thin. There are small, pointed scales beneath the chin that look like a beard. Some have spots on their flanks.

Diet: insects

Activities: diurnal, arboreal

Defense Mechanisms: They can drop their tail when attacked. It will grow back.

Misc characteristics: The Long Tail Grass Lizard’s tail is prehensile, like a monkey’s, so it can wrap around objects to help it move around. They are quick and agile, and they cover a large area while foraging for food in the wild.

BASIC CARE

Housing

A 20-gallon aquarium tank or more is good for housing one lizard — larger for more. It should have a secure lid that provides ventilation, and it should be tall, as these lizards love to climb. It also needs to have lots of branches for climbing. Cork bark placed on the sides is good, too. There should be plenty of plants and vines (real or artificial). Make sure there are a few hiding places for them to get into. Humidity is important, so select a substrate that retains moisture without growing of mold. Peat moss and bark chips are good for this.

Temperature and Lighting

Provide a thermal gradient so it can regulate its body temperature. Daytime ambient temperatures in the enclosure should range from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit; nights should be 65-70. There needs to be a basking spot that is 90-95 degrees. Maintain the heat with a combination of lamps. If necessary, create night temperatures with a ceramic heat emitter, which do not produce light. Use thermometers to ensure the correct temperature in the warm and cool areas, as well as the basking area. The Long Tail Grass Lizard is active in the daytime. It must have 10-12 hours of UVB and UVA light each day so it can process vitamins and minerals. Use fluorescent tubes that produce UVB rays. They should be within 12 inches of the lizard. Make sure to provide a normal day/night cycle.

Humidity

Humidity should be maintained at 70-75 percent. Do daily misting and provide a shallow bowl of water for this. A hygrometer can measure the humidity levels for you. Long Tails will frequently drink by taking droplets of water from leaves and other surfaces, but you should still provide the bowl of water.

Feeding

Feed the lizard a variety of insects, such as commercially prepared crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, earthworms, and the occasional wax worm for a treat. Feed adults 3-6 gut-loaded and dusted insects every other day. Feed juveniles 3-6 gut-loaded insects once per day.

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