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Other Good Beginner-intermediate Lizards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dan01, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    We all know about the leopard gecko and the bearded dragon, but what are some other good starter species? Don't get me wrong, I think those lizards are great, but online and on any website or any place you look, those are the only good staters listed. Not much veriatey. Also, what about beginning-intermediate (if that makes any sense) lizards? Bearded dragons and leopard geckos can't be the only good ones out there, can they?
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    depends on a lot of factors - how much you want to handle your lizard, etc.

    African Fat Tail Geckos are other decent beginners if you want handle-able lizards.

    Anoles can also be pretty easy - but can be difficult to handle owing to their small size, or on some species (Cuban Knight especially) their temperament.

    Fire Skinks and Blue-Tongue skinks all come highly recommended as well.

    Tokay geckos are easy to keep, but know to be less than friendly.
  3. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    I think one of the biggest reasons that beardies and leos get recommended so much for the beginner is that probably 99% of the leos and 100% of the beardies available are CBB, which eliminates alot of the parasite/stress related health issues that you see with the common WC lizards.

    If you're reasonably confident that you can evaluate a lizard at purchase and judge its health for yourself then you might be successful with some hardy WC species. One of my favorites is the green ameiva (Ameiva ameiva). Really not a hands-on type of lizard as the ones I've dealt with didn't like handling and they're very quick if they get loose. But outside of that they're pretty, they're really interesting to observe as they're very much a predator (kind of a mini version of their relatives, the tegus), and their needs aren't difficult at all to meet.

    Another lizard that I haven't kept personally but know a few inexperienced herpers who did keep successfully is the plated lizard. A little more tolerant of handling than the ameivas, if you start with a healthy one they shouldn't be hard to keep. Both of these guys will need some space though as they can approach 2 feet in length. I see recommendations that a 40BR (35"x18") is a good size, but personally I wouldn't keep either of these guys (or a beardie for that matter) in anything less than something 4'x2'.

    Oh another more intermediate species - ackie monitors. If you want a monitor (and really, who doesn't want a monitor) that's probably as good a "first monitor" as there is. They're not cheap, but when you start building an enclosure for that $20 savannah monitor (my first monitor, incidentally), that price gap closes.
  4. LillithTheSpider

    LillithTheSpider Active Member

    There are also other geckos out there that make great starters, including Crested Geckos, Panther Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Fire Skinks, and Skunk Geckos. They all require prior research of course but they typically don't require complicated diets or set ups. I honestly don't understand why Bearded Dragons are recommended as good starter lizards, since they need a very varied diet, a huge cage, and specialized lighting. But that is just me.
  5. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    I have a bearded dragon and I personally wouldn't recommend them to a beginner reptile keeper either... He's my first lizard, and is a bigger challenge than I thought he would be. But I like a good challenge.
  6. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    That's a good point about beardies, and one of the reasons I've never kept one despite their popularity. Come to think of it I've also never kept a leopard gecko or a corn snake or a ball python. Feels odd.

    I think it's maybe more accurate to maybe say a beardie is a good first "large" lizard, though even then I think a blue tongue skink might be a better choice there.
  7. Crazypets

    Crazypets New Member

    I wandering do Argentina black and whites tegus
    Make good first reptiles I never like geckos because their two small and bearded dragons seem like they have interesting features I have done my research but still doing it I was just wandering do they make a good first reptiles I have rodent and all kinds of pets but I so into them just could never have one when I was living with parents i just like bigger lizards

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