Common Green Forest Lizard (Calotes calotes)

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Common Green Forest Lizard
Calotes calotes
Common Green Forest Lizard (Calotes calotes)
Name Common Green Forest Lizard
Name Lat. Calotes calotes
Family Agamas
Family lat. Agamidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin South Asia
Habitat Forests, shrubland
Diet Insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior ♂ territorial
Keeping Individual, pair, harem
Care Level Difficult
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Humid terrarium
Life Span 10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 55 cm
Temperature 22-25 °C
Temperature Local 30 °C
Housing Size 120 x 80 x 120 cm
US Units
Size 22"
Temperature 72-77 °F
Temperature Local 86 °F
Housing Size 45" x 30" x 45"

Distribution and habitat

The diurnal, tree-dwelling saw-winged dragons are widespread in sparse forests and scrubland from Sri Lanka to southern India. As crop followers, they are also frequently found in settlements, gardens and cultivated land.


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

1-2 animals 5KRL x 4KRL x 5KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. Ideal is a terrarium of e.g. L 120 x W 80 x H 120 cm, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place

You need a humid terrarium with strong, vertical and horizontal climbing branches, structured back and side walls (e.g. cork covering), a substrate of forest soil-peat mixture as well as many plants (ficus, ferns, mosses, epiphytes etc.). In addition, a large water section (about 5 cm deep) with a clean, moving water for drinking and bathing. Several times a day the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better

Temp. day: 22-25 °C Temp. night: 18-20 °C Temp. local: up to 30 °C Humidity: 70-80

The lighting duration must be 12-14 hrs. Special lamps with high UV-A and UV-B content are ideal, because daily UV irradiation is essential.


The diet consists of live insects, such as crickets, house crickets, grasshoppers, earthworms, centipedes, zophobas larvae, and pieces of meat and fish or small fish. Alternatively, special ready-made food for insectivores can be offered. Wax moths should rarely be fed in very small amounts because of their large fat content. Regular addition of minerals and vitamins (dusting of food) is important. Young animals should be offered food daily, adults 4-5 times a week. Drinking water must always be available, but is preferably taken in drop form from leaves or furnishings

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The adult male has a thickened caudal root with a distinct hemipenis pouch.

The female buries her eggs (5-25 pieces) in the substrate, which must accordingly consist of a substrate suitable for burrowing. The incubation period is 50-70 days at a temperature of 25-28 °C. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young

The life expectancy can be 10 years.


Adult males behave territorially and there may be incompatibilities among themselves. The particularly long tail and the color change of the males, which get a red head during courtship or territory defense, is striking

For the well-being of the animals moving water (e.g. watercourses, waterfalls) should be absolutely present. Besides sunny places, shady, cooler places are also necessary

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be upgraded.

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: Christian Sänger; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1997): 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