15 Best Beginner Friendly Pet Lizards (Photos & Facts Included)

Lizards are usually the first pet reptiles that many beginner hobbyists consider. This is because they look like dinosaurs and people are not that afraid of them like snakes. Lizards can be kept as a display animal, and they can also be handled regularly based on the species.

According to reports, about 2 million households in the United States keep lizards as pets. Another thing is that the number is rapidly growing as people are warming up to them. Although lizards are easy to care for as a pet, some require special care to help keep them happy.

There is a wide range of lizard species that you can keep as a pet, and it can be quite overwhelming for beginners to pick one. This is why we came up with this article to list some of the best lizards suitable for beginners.

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

Best Beginner Friendly Pet Lizards: What Makes A Lizard Good For Beginners?

Although several lizard species are popularly kept as pets, not all of them are suitable for beginner hobbyists. They have different temperaments, habitat needs, dietary requirements, lifespan, and other traits.

Some of the things that beginners can consider before choosing a lizard are stated below.

  • It should be popular and familiar: the more popular a lizard is as a pet, the easier it will be for beginners to learn about the pet and get help.
  • It should be hardy and healthy: beginner hobbyists should try to get a lizard species that are less prone to illnesses and injuries.
  • Small in size: a beginner hobbyist should try to get a smaller lizard species because you can easily keep them in a smaller habitat and require less expensive care. However, beginners should ensure the lizard species is not so small that it will be very delicate to handle.
  • It should have a great personality: a good lizard for beginner hobbyists needs to be entertaining to watch, fun to own, and very easy to interact with. The best thing is that lots of lizards have fascinating personalities and are suitable for beginners.
  • It should be very easy to handle: Handling your pet is unavoidable, and you will need to occasionally do this, such as when you want to clean their tank. This is why it is best for beginner hobbyists to opt for lizards that you can handle regularly and will not bite.

Best Beginner Friendly Pet Lizards

Some of the best lizards that beginner hobbyists can choose are stated below.

Beginner Pet LizardsSizeCost
Bearded dragon12-24 inches$30-$60
Leopard geckoUp to 12 inches$20-$40
Ackies monitor24-30 inches$250-$400
Blue-tongue skinkUp to 20 inches$150-$250
Crested geckoUp to 8 inches$30-$300
Green anole5-8 inches$10 or less
Uromastyx lizardsUp to 20 inches$75-$300
African fat-tailed gecko7-9 inches$150-$600
Gold-dust day gecko5-6 inches$40-$250
Caiman lizards24-60 inches $350-$900
Chinese water dragon48-72 inches$20-$80
African fire skink14-15 inches $25-$70
Gidgee skink7-10 inches $550-$2000
Green iguana60-72 inches $20 to $50
Long-tailed lizards10-12 inches $5-$15
Size and price comparison of best beginner pet lizards
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon best beginner friendly pet lizards
Leopard Gecko and Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are one of the popular pet lizards that beginners can keep as a pet. They are very common, and you will easily find all that you will need to take care of them. Another thing is that they have fascinating personalities if you treat them well, and they rarely bite during handling sessions.

Beardies originate from Australia, and you can identify them with folds of skin that puffs out like a beard under their chin. Furthermore, they can grow to around 1-2 feet in total length and have a 10-15 years lifespan under optimal care.

Leopard Gecko

You can easily identify leopard geckos by the dark brown spots pattern on their body, which looks like leopards. Unlike other gecko species, they don’t have sticky pads and are relatively slower

They are suitable for beginners because they are low maintenance and become more docile as they age. They are nocturnal and do not need special lighting to stay healthy and happy. Furthermore, they are smaller reptile species and usually grow to about a foot at most. 

They also have a long lifespan and can live for about 15 years with great care.

Ackies Monitor

Ackies monitor originates from Australia, and you can easily mistake them for the Komodo dragon. They are smaller than the Komodo dragon and can grow to about 30 inches in length, which can be quite intimidating to most beginners. 

However, they are a suitable pet choice for beginners despite their large size. This is because of their docile temperaments and easy-care routine. Furthermore, they have a fairly long lifespan and can live for around 15-20 years under optimal care.

Blue-Tongue Skink

Blue-Tongue Skink and Ackies Monitor
Blue-Tongue Skink and Ackies Monitor

The blue-tongue skink is commonly found in the woods and grasslands of Australia. You can easily identify this lizard by its distinctive tongues. Although they are usually larger lizards as they can grow to about 20-22 inches in length, they are suitable for beginner hobbyists.

Generally, they are sluggish, and it is very easy to handle them. Furthermore, they require the same care as bearded dragons, and you can feed them with a varied insect and plant diet. They also have a long lifespan and can live for more than 15 years under optimal care.

Crested Gecko

Crested geckos originate from New Caledonia, and you can easily identify them by their eyelashes. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists because they are very docile reptiles and will hardly bite. Furthermore, you can easily handle them without any issue.

Cresties usually grow to around 8 inches in length and can live for ten or more years under optimal care. Another thing is that they are nocturnal lizards, and you don’t need special lighting before you keep them happy. 

However, you can provide them with 2-4 hours of light every day to keep them healthy.

Green Anole

Crested Gecko and Green Anole
Crested Gecko and Green Anole

Green anole can be easily identified by its bright green body. They are also known for extending their bright red dewlaps under their chin that contrast their body color. Furthermore, they are small lizards with long tails and need a housing requirement that will not take up much space.

Although green anoles are suitable lizard pets for beginner hobbyists, they need some live plants in their terrarium where they can hide and lick dewdrops. Green anoles can grow to around 5-8 inches in length but can only live for 3-6 years.

Note: green anoles are very shy and do not require too much handling to avoid stressing them.

Uromastyx Lizards

Uromastyx lizards, also called the spiny-tailed lizards, are suitable lizard species to keep as a pet. In the wild, uros are commonly found in Africa, India, Middle East, and they enjoy handling. They are usually active during the day and feed exclusively on a vegetarian diet.

There is a wide range of uromastyx species, and they can grow to about 20 inches in length. Furthermore, they can live for more than 15 years under correct care.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

African Fat-Tailed Gecko and Uromastyx
African Fat-Tailed Gecko and Uromastyx

Just as their name suggests, African fat-tailed geckos originate from Africa, and you can identify them by their thick tails. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists due to their easy husbandry and feeding requirements. 

Another thing is that they are very docile and friendly and are likely going to bite. African fat-tailed geckos have a long lifespan and can live for around 10-25 years under optimal care. Furthermore, they have similar care requirements to leopard geckos. 

One fascinating thing about these lizards is that they use their fat tail to store energy in the wild in famine or drought periods.

Gold-Dust Day Gecko

Gold dust day gecko originated from Madagascar and was just introduced to some Pacific islands like Hawaii. Generally, they are green in color, and they are named after the gold specks found on their dorsal side. 

They are considered as a small lizard species and only grow to around 5-6 inches long. They are suitable for beginners looking for a reptile as a display animal. This is because they get stressed very easily, and their skins easily tear during handling sessions. 

Furthermore, they can live for about ten years under optimal care.

Note: you need to place branches in your gold dust day gecko’s enclosure where they can hide and climb when they want.

Caiman Lizards

Caiman Lizards and Gold-Dust Day Gecko
Caiman Lizards and Gold-Dust Day Gecko

Caiman lizards are beautifully colored lizards that beginners can keep as a pet. They are large and can grow to about 5 feet in length. You will need to provide caiman lizards with a big enclosure with water where they can submerge.

A great thing about Caiman Lizards is that you can train them to be handled, but it may take time and patience. Although it is easy to train Caiman lizards, you should note that they have a big responsibility that you need to do to make them happy and healthy.

Caiman lizards can live for about ten years if you put them under optimal care.

Chinese Water Dragon

The Chinese dragons are among the numerous types of water dragons that are suitable for beginners. Furthermore, they have a friendly temperament. The best thing is that you can handle them once they get used to your presence.

However, you should note that they need special attention to keep them happy and healthy. You will need to provide a large enclosure, a pool of water, and carefully monitored humidity for them. They can grow to about 3 feet in size and can live for 15-20 years under optimal care.

African Fire Skink

The African fire skinks originate from Africa, and you can easily identify them by their bright red colors. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists as they only grow to about 14-15 inches in length. 

Furthermore, they don’t need any specific heating or lighting but a substrate where they can dig. Generally, African fire skinks are shy reptiles, and you will find them exciting when watching them from afar. 

Another thing is that they are hardy lizards and can live for around 15-20 years with only a few health problems. However, they are rare, and you will not find them at a local pet store easily.

Gidgee Skinks

Gidgee skinks are unique lizards that prefer to live in groups. Furthermore, they are considered low-maintenance lizards due to their easy-care level. This is why they are suitable for beginner hobbyists looking for lizards that can be kept in a group.

They usually grow to around 10 inches long, and you will need to provide them with a fairly large enclosure. However, they are considered shy and will need time and training before you can handle them. They can also live for about 20 years under optimal care.

Note: Gidgee skinks are very social and need to be housed with a partner to keep them happy.

Gidgee Skinks and Long-Tailed Lizards
Gidgee Skinks and Long-Tailed Lizards

Green Iguana

Green iguanas are one of the best beginner lizards due to their stunning appearance and herbivore diet. They originate from Central and South America, and due to their diet, they are perfect for beginner hobbyists that do not enjoy live feeding.

However, they can grow very big to around 5-6 feet, and you will need to provide them with a large enclosure and a pool of water to soak in. Furthermore, they are considered shy reptiles and will need time to get used to you before you can handle them.

Under optimal care, green iguanas can live for about 10-15 years in captivity.

Note: Green iguanas have sharp claws, and you should always be on the lookout for the feet anywhere you are with them.

Long-Tailed Lizards

The long-tailed lizards are named after their long tail, which is around 3-4 times the length of their whole body. They have prehensile tails used for wrapping around tree branches where they hang whenever they want.

Generally, they have a gentle and docile temperament which makes them a suitable lizard pet for beginners. However, they need a fairly large enclosure that can accommodate their long tails. Long-tailed lizards have a short lifespan and can live for about six years in captivity.

Wrapping Up

Picking an ideal lizard pet for beginners can be quite stressful due to the numerous lizard species. However, when choosing a pet lizard, you should always consider your budget, what you want from the experience, your dedication, and lots more.

You should note that you will find a wide range of lizards in that category no matter your consideration. You can make the whole choosing process a lot easier by sticking to recommendations on this list.