Are you considering a pet reptile? Want to make sure that you’re making the right decision? We can certainly help! Lizards are a great starter reptile, they have all the appeal of a mini dinosaur, but not quite the scare factor of a snake, plus you don’t need to feed them mice or rats which is a serious bonus! Most lizards can become tame and relatively friendly with time and attention, some appear to tame better than others and some are just for show. We’re going to give you a few of our personal recommendations for “the best beginner lizard”.
Bearded Dragons are literally the number 1 best pet lizard and are kept not only by beginners, but by seasoned experts too, they grow fairly large in size around 33cm – 36cm (13 – 14 inches), they are hardy and really friendly!
Bearded Dragons come from Australia, and are regularly bred in captivity throughout the world – they are always available within the pet trade. They have excellent temperaments and they are a really personable animal. They come in different colour morphs too. There is literally a colour for everyone! Their simple care requirements calm disposition and friendly outgoing personality literally make the Bearded Dragon the number 1 pet lizard to own! Want to know more? Check-out our Bearded Dragon care sheet.
Leopard Geckos, a small gecko species from Afghanistan, its attractive colours and small size make this a particularly popular first pet lizard – especially with kids. They don’t require a large expensive enclosure, and as long as you keep their diet well supplemented, technically it’s possible to keep them without any specific UV lighting. They very rarely bite, they are not particularly fast moving and don’t require heat bulbs. They will live happily with a heat mat as heat source. Again, they come in a variety of attractive colours and morphs. They are bred commonly in captivity and are certainly not a high investment animal. Wild type Leopard Geckos can cost as little as £30 and the setup is inexpensive too. they also tend to be very clean, commonly selecting one spot to defecate within their enclosure. These wee guys are still a responsibility and live 15+ years, so research is vitally important.
Crested Geckos are within same family as Leopard Geckos, but that’s where the similarity ends with this species. Crested Geckos are what is called arboreal, they prefer to live their lives in the trees and shrubs. They look entirely different too Leopard Geckos but are still as absolutely adorable! They have these amazing little faces which are bursting with personality. Their eyes are the gems of the reptile world – intricate and patterned in themselves.
They are called Crested Geckos due to the fact that they have an amazing crest which protrudes from the top of their eyes and also on the crest of their heads, some “Cresties” are bred specifically for their amazing crests. Another trait of Crested Geckos is their ability “fire up” they can essentially change colour. Well maybe not change, but they can indeed alter the tone and vibrancy of their colours. Cresties primary form of transport is jumping, they tend to jump around rather that walk. Their ease of care makes them another perfect candidate as a beginner pet, although if you are looking for something more interactive, a Crested Gecko is not the best choice. They are a little more suited to older kids or adults who would like a beautiful display animal. We’ve also got a Crested Gecko care sheet it you would like to know more.
Blue Tongue Skinks are and have been a staple reptile in the hobby for years, they are larger than a Bearded Dragon, and packed full of personality. Despite the larger size, they make excellent and very calm pets. There are around 12 species of Blue Tongue Skinks, but the most common with reptile keepers are the Eastern and the Northern species. Blue Tongue Skinks are commonly described as keepers as being highly intelligent. With a higher intelligence, comes more enrichment and a little more input from the keeper. They are certainly still an excellent beginner reptile, but we would advise that you pay a little more attention to providing rocks and hiding places with nooks and crannies where insects such as crickets can hide. This will stimulate the natural hunting instinct with your Blue Tongue Skink and provide mental stimulation.
These personable little lizards love to be handled and are super easy to feed, they will eat a mixture of fruits and veggies as well as insects. Blue Tongue Skins are omnivorous animals, therefore, require a variety of foods to maintain a healthy lizard.