Collared lizards are simply one of the prettiest naturally occurring lizards – adult males are gob-smackingly beautiful. The occur in desert and arid regions through Mexico and several southern states of the USA. Not only known for their bright colours, they are a lizard which is known for running on their back legs.
Being an arid and desert species they require a vivarium set up likewise. We would recommend a substrate on the floor of the vivarium of ProRep Bio Life Desert which will allow for natural behaviour. Place a choice of hides throughout the vivarium, in the cool and warm areas to give a choice. We always provide some hides that have a level of moisture underneath so the lizards can choose which they prefer, especially when shedding their skin. Collared lizards will climb, so a selection of climbing décor will be used – branches and the like. Many keepers provide a rock wall on the rear of the vivarium – often hand-made and to the keepers design.
Being a very active lizard they will require a large vivarium – a minimum would be a four feet long vivarium, preferably bigger. Provide a hot and cool area by fitting a basking heater in one end of the vivarium. Basking heaters can be in the form of ceramic heaters, halogen heaters or incandescent heaters – with fans for each (a hotly debated topic). Provide a basking temperature of around 36-38C, but cool areas must be provided. It’s very important to provide high levels of UVB, we would suggest a 12-14% T5 UVB fluorescent tube for this purpose – switched on for twelve hours per day (unless breeding is to be attempted, then provide a varying photoperiod). They are greedy feeders and will eat most commercially available livefood – gut-loaded and pre-dusted with a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement.
This species isn’t suited to all keepers – they are fast moving and often do not tame. But for the ultimate beautiful display animals they can’t be beaten.