Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)

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Collared Lizard
Crotaphytus collaris
Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
Name Collared Lizard
Name Lat. Crotaphytus collaris
Family Collared Lizards
Family lat. Crotaphytidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin Southern USA, Mexico
Habitat Dry savanna
Diet Insects
Humidity 30-50 %
Behavior ♂ territorial
Keeping Pair, harem
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Dry terrarium
Life Span 8 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 30 cm
Temperature 30-35 °C
Temperature Local 50 °C
Housing Size 120 x 60 x 60 cm
US Units
Size 12"
Temperature 86-95 °F
Temperature Local 122 °F
Housing Size 50" x 25" x 25"

Distribution and habitat

Diurnal collared iguanas are common in the southern United States and northern Mexico, where they live in dry rocky areas up to elevations of more than 2,000 meters. They shelter from daytime heat and cool nighttime temperatures in rock crevices or under large boulders.


Minimum dimensions for the terrarium, according to the size and number of animals

1-2 animals 6KRL x 4KRL x 4KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. Recommend a terrarium of e.g. L 120 x W 60 x H 60 cm, placed in a quiet and vibration-free place.

You need a well structured terrarium with roots, branches and stones (hiding places and privacy screens, sunning places, climbing possibilities), a graveable substrate of sand-loam mixture and rubble, a small water container as well as potted plants (e.g. euphorbia, aloe, oleander). A small portion of the substrate should always be slightly moist. Once or twice a week, preferably in the evening, the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water, but not directly the animals (risk of shock).

Temp. day: 28-35 °C Temp. night: 18-22 °C Temp. local: up to 50 °C Humidity: 30-50

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. Lighting duration must be 10-14 hrs depending on the season. They need a high light intensity. Special lamps that produce the necessary heat and UV light are ideal. Daily UV irradiation is essential.


The food supply consists of live insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, mealybug larvae, etc.. Often, commercially available ready-made food for insectivorous reptiles is also accepted. It may be necessary to offer the food with tweezers for habituation. Wax moths should rarely be fed in very small amounts due to their large fat content. Regular addition of minerals and vitamins (dusting the food) is important. Young animals should be offered food daily, adults 4-5 times a week. Drinking water must always be available

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males are often more strongly colored and usually have a broader head and a thicker tail root, where the hemipenis pockets are clearly visible

The female lays up to 10 eggs, several clutches per year are possible. At 28-32 °C the incubation period is 45-60 days. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young.


There are some site variants in their range, such as Crotaphytus collaris 'Wichita Mountain', which often differ significantly in coloration. Care should be taken when socializing with other lizards, as they view small lizards as prey. Adult males are very territorial and incompatible with each other

They need up to 50 °C warm sunny places (spotlights) and a strong temperature reduction at night (room temperature). For the resting phase, the lighting duration is reduced by 2-3 hours and the temperature is lowered to 10-15 °C for about two months.

The quality of the food animals can be upgraded by giving fruit and honey water.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1997): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF