Lizards are usually the first pet reptile for a lot of people because they look like dinosaurs, and people do not fear them like snakes. With this fact in mind, I had to research the best lizards that you can keep as a pet, and you will surely be awestruck by what I found out.
Lizards are magnificent display animals, and you will be surprised to find out that you can handle some of them. Some of the cute lizards species that I can find out are bearded dragons, gold-dust day gecko, panther chameleon, leopard gecko, Chinese water dragon, African fat tail geckos, and crested geckos.
Top 7 cute lizard species
Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps)
The Bearded Dragons are among the cutest lizards that you can keep as a pet for decades. It looks like a dragon, and you can quickly identify it with its armor of spiny reptilian scales with spikes under its chin that puffs up based on its mood. It is light brown and beige, but some breeds are yellow, red, or white.
In the wild, you will find them across most of Australia. In the warm, arid regions like savannas, deserts, scrublands, and subtropical woodlands. They are semi-arboreal as they spend most of their time on branches and in bushes. They are also territorial, and adult bearded dragons show aggression when defending their turf from other males, competing for a female, or fighting for food.
One of the fascinating things about Bearded Dragons is that they communicate by bobbing their heads and changing of the color of their beards. They also go into a type of hibernation during the fall or winter season. During this period, they stop eating and only drink water sporadically. They are omnivores and feed on leaves, fruit, insects, flowers, and occasionally rodent or small lizards.
For pet owners, these breeds are gentle, and they are usually looking for attention and interaction. They are a famous pet lizard for numerous years because of their calm temperament, and this makes them a perfect choice for beginners and children. They can stay in captivity for more than a decade.
Gold-Dust Day Gecko (Phelsuma laticauda laticauda)
You can quickly identify this breed with its green color and the red spots between their eyes, nose, and middle of their back. They have stunning gold speckling on their legs, necks, and hindquarters to their tails. They can also grow to about 4-5.5 inches in length.
In the wild, they are common in northern Madagascar, Island of Comoros, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. They prefer living in trees and houses, and they feed on nectar, insects, smaller lizards, sweet fruit, and plant.
These mind-blowing cute lizard species are active in the day. You can keep them in a well-planted terrarium where they can entertain you as you watch them roam and feed. They are not a suitable pet for handling but rather watching them. When you stress them, they get nervous and can lose their tail. If you take proper care of them, they can live for more than ten years in captivity.
Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis)
It is a brightly colorful chameleon species, and it is common in the tropical forest areas of Madagascar. You will surely be stunned once you see them. The males are usually with more vibrant colors than females. Their color ranges from lovely blues and greens to black with bright patches of yellow, red, pink, and orange coloration. The males can grow to about 17 inches in length while the females are usually in the range of 10-14 inches.
In the wild, they are an arboreal lizard species, and you will find them in the canopies of tropical forests on the trees. They are also active during the day; this means they hunt for their prey or forage from big bushes to branches of plants during the day. They are solitary animals, and you will only see them with their partners during the mating season.
They are territorial just like other species of chameleon, and if you house two males together, they may attack each other. As a pet, it is best to watch them rather than handling them because this can be stressful for them. This lovely species is popular among lizard owners because they are quite easy to care for, unlike other lizards. They can only stay for about five years in captivity. You can keep them in a glass terrarium with enough vertical space, which allows them to climb.
Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius)
It is a suitable pet for beginner reptile owners, and this is because they can be easily handled and are small in size. You will find them in numerous colors, and the common ones are yellow, white, and spotted with black dots. The hatchlings usually have more striped appearance before they change to spotted appearance as they grow old. They can grow to about 8-10 inches in length.
In the wild, they are common in areas like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India. They are burrowing terrestrial lizards, and they prefer inhabiting dry rocky and grassy areas close to the deserts. They are also crepuscular by nature, which means they are active at dawn and dusk. Unlike other geckos, they do not have sticky toe pads, which means they cannot climb walls, but they have eyelids.
Interestingly, Leopard Geckos shed their skin in one piece and then feed on them for nutrients and also to keep their whereabouts unknown to predators. When threatened, they detach their tail, but it can regrow with a slightly different appearance.
They are among the easiest pet lizard that you can keep if you can take proper care of them. It is usually slow-moving, and it does not bite. It has lovely personalities and can be very vocal when they are hungry. They rattle their tail like rattlesnakes when excited, and it has mating or eating on its mind. You can keep about 2 or 3 of them in a 10-20-gallon long aquarium with reptile carpet as a substrate. You can feed them with water and insect diet dusted with calcium.
These beauties are very calm when handling but will be fast when it is threatened or scared. They can also live for more than 20 years in captivity if you take proper care of them.
The Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)
The Chinese water dragon has varieties of names such as Asian water dragon, green water dragon, and Thai water dragon. They are native to mainland Southeast Asia and China, and they can grow to about 1m in length. They are similar to small iguanas, and they spend most of their time swimming.
One of the distinctive features of this lovely species is this parietal eye located on the top of their head. Their color ranges from dark to light green, and they have slanted stripes of green on their bodies. The adult males develop larger crests on the back of the head and neck than their female counterparts.
In the wild, they are native to lowland and highland forests of southern China and southeastern Asia. They prefer living along the banks of freshwater lakes and streams. The long tail is used for balance when running, balance among the branches, swimming, and also for climbing. They may also whip its tail for defense, but they prefer running. They are arboreal, i.e., they spend most of their time in trees or plants, they are also active during the day.
Once they feel threatened, they will drop into the water from the trees and swim to safety or stay submerged for about 90 minutes. They are omnivores, and they can feed on insects, vegetation, and occasionally on small mammal, fish, or reptile.
This cute lizard species is a perfect lizard pet for beginners because they are friendly, and you can handle them. They are also social animals, and you can keep them in pairs or groups. It is among the famous breed of lizards to keep because keeping them does not require much work. They can live for about 10-15 years in captivity if you take proper care of them.
African Fat Tail Geckos (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)
The African fat tail gecko is quite similar to leopard geckos, but they are docile and gentle. They have a shorter and thicker tail, which is where they got their name. The best thing about them is that they come in different colors and patterns, which ranges from yellow to orange to even black and white. They grow to about 7-9 inches in length.
The African fat tail geckos is a native to West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. They prefer staying in arid savanna habitat, but you will also find them in a more humid microclimate. One of their fascinating features is the movable eyelids, which helps to keep their eyes clean in their natural habitat. They can also vocalize with their tongue by making a clicking sound.
They can eat different kinds of bugs, such as roaches, crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and super worms. If they are threatened or attacked, they can also lose their tail, and a new one with a more rounded shape will later form. They also store fat in their tail, which gives them the power to go days without food.
They are a perfect choice for first-time reptile keepers, and they also make a lovely pet just like the Leopard gecko. The great thing about them is that they can live in a relatively small enclosure and easy to care for them. They are getting more popular among pet keepers because of their docile dispositions, and you can handle them. They can also live for about 15-20 years with proper care. It is getting more popular as a pet, and why not join the bandwagon?
Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliates)
The Crested Gecko is also known as the eyelash geckos. It was thought that this mind-blowing lizard species was extinct before numerous large thriving populations were found on the islands of New Caledonia in 1994. Since then, it has then gained lots of popularity among pet lovers. It is because they are low-maintenance and suitable for novice or children lizard owners.
They have numerous colors and markings, and they can also reach 6-10 inches. They have fringed crests that run over their eyes down to the necks and backs. It does not have eyelids but they can use their long tongues to remove debris and moisten their eyes.
They are the perfect pet if you are searching for a fascinating display animal. It is not suitable for handling because you can stress out the gecko, which will, in turn, cause its tail to drop. You can easily feed it with nectar, crested gecko foods, and crickets that are dusted with supplements. They can also live for about 10-20 years in captivity.