5 Beginner-Friendly Lizards: Best Options for First Pet Reptiles

If you are a prospective reptile owner, choosing the right first reptile can be a daunting task. Fear not! We have curated a list of five beginner-friendly lizards that will delight both novice and seasoned reptile keepers alike!

Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

Leopard Geckos are a charming species of arid gecko known for their docile disposition and low-maintenance requirements. These geckos are insectivores and require a heat source such as a heat lamp or heating pad to properly digest their meals. With a lifespan of 20 years and a modest size of 8 to 10 inches, these geckos are perfect long-lived companions that don’t take up too much space in the home. Thanks to their widespread popularity, they are easy to obtain and will not set you back too much for the cost of the gecko itself.

To check out ideal leopard gecko enclosures, explore Zen Habitats 48x24x16!

Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

Bearded dragons are one of the most popularly kept reptile pets today! Although commonly regarded as beginner-friendly, their requirement for overhead heat lamps, proper strength UVB lamps, calcium supplementation, and an omnivorous diet of greens and insects makes them more of an intermediate to “well researched beginner” option. Bearded dragons are known for their easy-going personalities, which make them typically easy to handle and interact with. With a lifespan of 10-15 years and a minimum enclosure size of 4x2x2, these dragons may be the perfect pet for those willing to dedicate the time and space for one!

Check out Zen Habitats 4x2x2 enclosure, perfect for a bearded dragon. Zen’s ability to be expanded using extension kits allows for you to upgrade your beardie’s home throughout their life!

Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

The smallest lizard on this list, the crested gecko comes in at 8-10 inches (with 4-6 inches of
that being tail!) Crested geckos are a semi-tropical, arboreal gecko that can live for 15 years or more with proper care. Their ideal diet consists of commercially prepared crested gecko diet, which is a fruit and insect-based powder that is mixed with water to form a smoothie
consistency, and live bugs on occasion. With their velvety soft skin and endearing expressions, crested geckos are sure to steal the hearts of prospective reptile lovers! Crested gecko enclosures should be at least 24” tall with lots of space to climb and explore.

Check out the Zen Habitats 2x2x2 enclosure– perfect for crested geckos!

Northern Blue-Tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia)

The Northern Blue Tongued Skink is endemic to the Australian outback. Unlike Indonesian Blue Tongued Skinks, all Northern Blue Tongues are captive bred- meaning they are more likely to be healthy and parasite free than their wild caught counterparts. Northern Blue Tongues are the largest blue tongue species, and require enclosures of at least 4 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft with overhead heating and UVB light to thrive. They are omnivorous- enjoying greens, insects, and meat sources with the occasional fruit. They are a quite easy to handle lizard, and due to their small legs, they do not jump or run very quickly; making them a great choice for a newer keeper!

African Fat-Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

African Fat-Tailed Geckos may look like a Leopard Gecko to some on first glance, but don’t be fooled- they are a completely different species! The African Fat Tailed gecko is similar to the leopard gecko in several ways; they stay a small, manageable size, they are typically easy to handle, they eat an insectivorous diet, and they come in many different colors and patterns, however, the fat tailed gecko requires higher humidity levels than the leopard gecko. African fat tailed geckos are not as popular or commonly bred as leopard geckos, so they may be a bit harder to find with a higher price tag.

A 48x24x16 enclosure is a wonderful size for an AFT’s lifetime, and they do wonderful in both naturalistic and bioactive setups.

Filled under: Lizards

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