Sand lizard at home


The agile lizard appeared in the animal kingdom for quite some time. This reptile belongs to the family of real lizards, a genus of green lizards. Many interesting facts can be recalled regarding this representative of the fauna. The distribution area of ​​this creature is quite wide, therefore, rare or exotic it can not be called. Special signs in appearance is also not observed. The fast lizard has a lighter belly and a darker back with stripes. Males are usually slightly larger than females and much darker. In the mating season, they turn green, although usually their color varies from light green to black. Females are usually painted in gray tones, but differ in pattern from each other. They prefer to live in dry, well warmed by the sun places, whether it be a steppe, a forest or mountains. An interesting fact is that these reptiles live in pairs. Each such "family" has its own mink among the stones, under the bark of trees or between the roots of stumps, where they hide at night or in case of danger.

Lizard of this species is active only during the day. She does not move more than 10 to 15 meters from her mink even during a hunt. Thus, she insures herself, and when attacking, she very quickly retreats toward her hole, suddenly and abruptly changing directions, in order to disorient the enemy. No wonder this lizard is called "nibble". She runs very fast, climbs trees well and jumps high. She is very good and the mechanism of salvation. If you grab it by the tail, it will throw it away, and within 3 - 4 weeks it will grow a new one. A piece of the spine, rejected for the first time, is replaced by cartilage, which is why the sand lizard can discard it countless times. An overgrown tail will be slightly shorter than the original and lighter than the lizard itself. It not only saves well, but also hunts well: it rushes at lightning speed on beetles and other insects, leaving them no chance, and flies are able to catch even on the fly.

With the onset of the mating season, the males become brighter. They get up on their paws and begin to look around in search of females. Very often there are fights between male rivals. Having noticed a suitable partner, the male begins the pursuit. In that case, if he catches her, grabs his mouth for the base of the tail. Then he hugs her front paws and mating occurs. Sand lizard in May lays from 6 to 15-16 eggs. Eggs are large, as they contain a large amount of yolk to feed the offspring until hatching. In July, young formed individuals resembling adult lizards appear from eggs.


Given their huge area of ​​distribution, a large number and simple habits, these lizards are very easy to catch. They live well in captivity. However, you should consider some features for successful content. Spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, earthworms and caterpillars form the basis of their nutrition, so live food in their diet should be necessary. You can accustom them to raw meat, boiled eggs. Also, a lizard at home is also the presence of a special terrarium for her, in which there must be an ultraviolet lamp. For successful keeping in captivity of lizards it is necessary to irradiate with ultraviolet light.

Sand lizards in a natural environment

As already noted, these lizards are characterized by a fairly large habitat, they inhabit the territory of Russia up to Southern Karelia, the south of the Arkhangelsk region, the Republic of Komi, and Ugra, and are found in the Western Baikal region.

However, common lizards live not only in the Russian open spaces, but also in southern England, Eastern France, Poland, the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.

These animals lodge on dry, well warmed up by sunshine sites - flat and mountain, but not more than one and a half kilometers. They create pairs, at night they hide in secluded places - in burrows, under snags or boulders. Similar shelters are used by lizards for wintering.

External data

Lizards have the following structure:

  1. They have a small head, passing into a pointed muzzle, on which two widely open nostrils are located. The neck is short, rather massive.
  2. Eyes covered for centuries, transparent or translucent membrane. It is called the “third eyelid” and provides hydration of the eye membranes.
  3. Behind the eyes are rounded eardrums - something, and the hearing of these animals is excellent.
  4. Long, thin, with a split at the end tongue acts as an organ of touch. You can catch the lizard for exploring various subjects when she sticks out her tongue and leads them across surfaces.
  5. Limbs lizards are like frog legs, on each of them there are 5 thin fingers with tenacious claws. Their animals are used for climbing. But the membrane they are missing.
  6. Body covered with dry skin with horny scales. On the face and tummy scales are larger, resemble large plates.

As they grow up and increase in size, lizards begin to fade. This process is not frequent, on average occurs every 4 years. They only breathe with their lungs; animals have no other respiratory organs.

As for coloring, the males have quite a few variations - from light green to almost black tones. In the south, green lizards are more common. During grooming females, male individuals acquire brighter colors.

Females, however, cannot boast of either brightness or variety of color, though their gray or brown body is covered with intricate patterns. In young animals, the body is of the same tone, only three stripes adorn the back.

The character and livability of fast lizards

Lizards live in burrows, which they dig themselves, or occupy someone else's abandoned housing. Most often, they do not move away from him, they even hunt 10-15 meters from the house. When there is a threat, the animal begins to run away, randomly changing directions, thereby causing the attacker a sense of confusion.

Lizards are most active during the day. They have excellent physical characteristics and extraordinary endurance, for which they received their name - nimble. They can run very fast, jump, climb excellently, are able to change the trajectory sharply even at high speed. So dodgers cost nothing to catch a fly on the fly.

In addition, they behave very carefully and never lose their vigilance. Anyone, even a faint sound, makes the lizard want to hide, and it quickly snaps into a hole or quickly climbs the twigs. If, in pursuit of a lizard, the abuser manages to grab her tail, she can be saved by dropping his piece.

In response to pain, one of the vertebrae breaks in the middle, and the animal is not bleeding, because the mechanism of contraction of the muscle tissue around the wound works. Then there is an intensive process of regeneration, and the tail part that has disappeared grows up again. True, it is not so long, and its color is different from the general color. But thanks to this reflex essentially manages to save life.

New pet at home - what to do?

Even a novice can understand that a lizard is not an ordinary pet, and it requires special care. What to do if a similar animal appeared in the house?

  1. First of all, you should inspect the lizard for parasites - often on their skin ticks settle, easily detectable due to the bright color. As a rule, such parasites do not pose a danger to humans, but in a lizard they cause discomfort and may even cause its death.
  2. Pet should be placed in a quarantine tank - 14-21 days.
  3. It is recommended to carry out deworming, using special means intended for reptiles.

Terrarium equipment

The lizard cannot live in a can or box, so for a comfortable dwelling it will need a competent equipped terrarium:

  • for one specimen a reservoir of 40x60x40 cm is enough,
  • the container should have a door located in the side wall - the lizard will not perceive the invasion every time as an attack attempt, and stress situations will become much smaller,
  • the lizard can live in an aquarium, spacious, with low walls - but no boxes or boxes!

Maintaining temperature

The owner must take care of the microclimate - the lizards should be equipped with a thermometer and monitor the indicators, even at night. It is advisable to equip the tank so that it had 2 zones - hot (34 ° -36 ° C) and cold (not lower than 30 ° C). At night, the thermometer should not fall below + 21 ° C, otherwise the animal's metabolic processes slow down, activity decreases, and some individuals begin to prepare for hibernation.

To maintain the temperature regime, it is best to use special devices that can be bought at any pet store. The following devices are suitable for terrariums:

  • lamps - they are very different: mirror, incandescent, halogen, etc.,
  • thermo stones - artificial minerals that, when turned on, heat the tank and are an excellent decor for it. There is one drawback - they are able to heat up to higher rates than stated,
  • thermal cords - they are used to heat the bottom of the terrarium, pulling under the tank or inside,
  • thermocouples - Apply the same as the previous device.

Other indicators for pet comfort

Stable temperature is not the only requirement for lizard habitat conditions:

  1. Ultra-violet rays - the pet needs sunlight, for this it is recommended to equip the terrarium with a UV lamp (marking 5%). It must be switched on permanently and replaced every 6 months. With an ultraviolet deficit, the animal's body cannot fully absorb calcium, bone tissue is destroyed, and the pet dies in agony.
  2. Moisture control - it is recommended to install a small tank with water into the lizard dwelling, into which she could climb on her own, and place it in a cool area. In addition, you can daily spray the inner surfaces of the terrarium or use wet sponges. It is important to avoid excessive moisture, as in such conditions fungi often infest. To avoid such trouble can, providing good ventilation.
  3. Decor - pet needs shelters and a body of water, you can also mark the branches, snags, on which the lizard will climb.
  4. Priming - it is placed on the bottom of the tank; any material intended for this purpose can be used. Only fine chips and sand that can penetrate with the food into the digestive tract of the animal and provoke various kinds of problems are not suitable.

What to feed fast pet?

In their natural environment, lizards successfully hunt for bugs, grasshoppers, earthworms, caterpillars and spiders, so when choosing a home diet you should prefer live food. Some owners of lizards are taken to catch insects for their pet, but it should be borne in mind that the "lunch" caught in this way may be infected with parasites.

It is much easier and safer to buy live food at a pet store - in many of them they sell crickets and cockroaches. With pleasure, lizards eat the mealworm larvae, tobacco hawk moths, locusts. It is rare to give a pet meat - raw, lean beef or boiled chicken, boiled egg. Before serving, the products are ground. When feeding fast lizards, you should follow certain rules:

  • the diet should not consist of the same food, for example, eating only worms can cause lizards to become obese,
  • from time to time you should include in the pet menu special nutritional supplements that are available in powder form,
  • feeding should be daily - in the summer, food is given three times, in winter - twice,
  • one portion should consist of 5-10 insects,
  • Adult individuals do a great job on their own, and young ones can be helped by using tweezers to feed them.

All insects that did not become food for the inhabitant should be removed from the reservoir, as there were situations when grasshoppers and crickets caused damage to the skin of sleeping “predators”. It is important to avoid both overeating and malnutrition, in both cases the owners are faced with serious problems - their wards get sick and often die.

Do lizards hibernate in captivity?

Not all owners of such unusual pets provide their wards with suitable conditions for hibernation. However, it is of great importance for the life of lizards:

  • individuals that do not hibernate do not multiply, since the mechanisms affecting the mating instinct do not work,
  • "Sleeping" males become dull during the winter period, while in the spring the color intensity is not restored,
  • without hibernation, animals become less active,
  • life expectancy becomes less, pets are more often exposed to various diseases.

How to put a pet in hibernation and withdraw from it?

This process is rather painstaking, but necessary:

  • 3-4 weeks before wintering it is necessary to feed the pet more satisfying and diverse,
  • then the lizard does not give food for 12-14 days so that its intestines are cleared,
  • after it should be gradually or stepwise (at 4 ° -5 ° C) lower the temperature in the tank. The duration of each stage is 3-7 hours,
  • ideal indicator for wintering - +5 + 7C,
  • you can deposit the lizard in a small container that has openings for the entry of air, and place it in a refrigerator - provided that it is possible to regulate the temperature in it.

It is worth knowing that lizards breathe in hibernation approximately 2 times per minute, and it is almost impossible to catch their heartbeat. Therefore, before you say goodbye to the allegedly dead pet, you should make sure that he is not sleeping. Remove lizards from hibernation, gradually increasing the ambient temperature. Then it is important to provide ultraviolet light and good heating.

In the first three days, an individual can only lie and bask, not showing particular activity and refusing to eat. It is not recommended to feed her by force. If everything was done correctly, the lizard will soon recover and start shedding. Wintering lasts from 1 to 4 months. The duration of this period is due to the following factors:

  • if the lizard sleeps less than 4 weeks, then the same problems can be expected as in the absence of hibernation,
  • when this period is delayed for a period longer than the allotted time, then the individual experiences severe exhaustion, dies, without waking up, or during the exit.

Sand lizard in nature

Lacerta agilis Linnaeus (such is its Latin name) inhabits large areas in Russia, bounded by South Karelia, the south of the Arkhangelsk Region, the Komi Republic, the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, and the Western Baikal.

It is no less widespread in other countries: Southern England, Eastern France, the Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, etc.

The lizard prefers dry, heated by the sun places in the forest, steppes or mountains not more than 1.5 km in height. They live in reptiles in pairs. At night, they hide under stones, stumps, or in burrows. Hibernate most often there.

What a sand lizard looks like

Its length is 25-28 cm. By appearance, these representatives of the family of true lizards are similar to tailed amphibians, but differ from them in a more slender body.

  • Head to face pointed. At the end of the last there are two nostrils.
  • The neck is short and thick.
  • The eyes have eyelids, as well as the third eyelid - a special blinker to moisturize the eyes.
  • The organs of sight can be seen rounded eardrums. The hearing of the sand lizard is wonderful.
  • The organ of touch is the language: long, thin, forked at the end. Periodically, the lizard protrudes from the mouth, exploring the surface.

The extremities of the lizard resemble the extremities of a frog. On all legs, five fingers without membranes, with claws, necessary when climbing. The skin is dry, with horny scales. On the face and abdomen, they are larger and look more like large plates. As they grow, lizards molt. It happens about once every 4-5 years. Only pulmonary breathing, no skin.

There are a lot of color options for males (from light green and olive to almost black). Green prevails in the southern regions. During the breeding season, males become brighter. Females are gray or brown with a variety of patterns. Juveniles of the same color, but with three stripes on the back.

The nature and compatibility of the sand lizard

Holes dug independently or by other animals are used as housing. They do not go far from them, a maximum of 10-15 meters, even during a hunt. In case of danger, they run away, disorienting the enemy with frequent changes of direction.

Daily activity. These lizards are very bright: they run fast, climb high, jump well, can change direction of movement with lightning speed, catch flies on the fly, etc. They were called “quick” for these “talents”.

At the same time very careful, constantly alert. When any danger rush into the hole or climb on the branch of the plant. If the pursuer grabs the lizard by the tail, then it will be able to save its life by discarding its part. В ответ на болезненные ощущения (а не на механическое натяжение) происходит перелом посередине одного из позвонков. Кровотечения никогда нет из-за сокращения мышц вокруг раны.

Как подготовить животное к содержанию в домашнем аквариуме

Подготовка состоит их трех этапов:

  • Внимательный осмотр тела рептилии на наличие кожных паразитов. Most often these are ticks, which are brightly colored and therefore visible even with the naked eye. For humans, these parasites are not dangerous, but the lizard itself causes a lot of inconvenience and can even lead to its death.
  • Quarantine for 2-3 weeks.
  • De-worming with the use of special anthelmintic drugs for reptiles.

How to equip a terrarium

Dimensions. For the content will be enough capacity 40 to 60 to 40 cm. The door should be on the side, not on top. Then the lizard will see that it is not attacked and experience less stress. It is permissible to keep in a spacious low aquarium without a lid. But never in any boxes!

Microclimate. Be sure to be monitored air temperature, including at night. It is better to create two temperature zones: hot (36 degrees) and cool (up to 30).

To maintain the correct temperature, there are a variety of devices. You can buy them in pet stores. In terrariums are used:

  • Lamps (incandescent, mirror, fluorescent, halogen, mercury).
  • Thermocamen. This is an artificial stone that, when turned on, simultaneously creates lower heating and decorates a terrarium. The negative point: it can heat up above the declared temperature.
  • Thermal cord. Also used for bottom heating. Placed under or inside the terrarium. With the help of the thickness of the soil, you can create different points of warming up.
  • Thermofoil. Used in the same way as the thermal cord.

sunlight. Install a UV lamp with a marking of 5%. It should work around the clock and be replaced every six months. Without ultraviolet, calcium and vitamin D are poorly absorbed, reptile bones begin to collapse, and she dies a painful death.

Moisture control. In the terrarium there must be a bowl of water of such size that a lizard can climb into it. It is located in a cool area. Additionally, you can spray or use wet sponges. Waterlogging is also recommended not to allow, as a fungus. For this ventilation in the home must be good.

Decor. Equip several shelters and pond. The entire decor should not have sharp edges so that the lizard does not hurt. You can place several branches for climbing.

To the bottom terrarium allowed to put any soil, except for small chips, sand, etc. They can get into the gastrointestinal tract with food and cause problems.

Feeding of the lizard

In nature, these reptiles feed on bugs, grasshoppers, earthworms, caterpillars and spiders. That is why the diet must be live food. You can catch it yourself, but in this case insects can be infected with parasites.

In pet stores you can find crickets and cockroaches. Not bad to feed the meal worms, tobacco hawk moth, locust.

Occasionally allowed to treat meat (raw beef or boiled chicken), egg. If the pieces are large, then the lizard will wag them in the mouth for a long time, spitting out and swallowing again.

It is regularly worth giving special mineral and vitamin supplements. They are available in powder form.

Food is given daily, 3 times a day in the summer and two in the winter, in the amount of 5-10 insects at a time. Adult lizards can take food on their own, and juveniles recommend giving it with tweezers. On the night of uneaten insects is better to remove from the terrarium. There are cases when grasshoppers and crickets damaged the skin of a sleeping lizard.

Do I need a hibernation in captivity?

Not all breeders hibernate their lizards; nevertheless, it is very important. What does it affect:

  • For reproduction. Lizards that do not hibernate do not mate.
  • On the brightness of the color of males. "Sleepless" male individuals grow dull during the winter and the color does not return to them in the spring.
  • On the activity of the animal.
  • For a lifetime. Without hibernation, they often get sick and live less.

How to put a lizard in hibernation and out of it?

  • A month before the planned hibernation should strengthen and diversify the diet. (This does not apply to individuals whose weight is normal.)
  • After it has passed, the lizard does not need to be fed for a week to clean the intestines.
  • Then smoothly or stepwise (5 degrees) begin to reduce the temperature in the terrarium. Each "step" in time should take from 3 to 7 hours.
  • The final temperature for hibernation is +5, +7.

A temperature-controlled refrigerator is suitable for wintering. There is no need to put the whole terrarium there. It is enough to plant the lizard in a container with openings for air.

  • Hibernation begins with a gradual increase in temperature.
  • Further, it will be necessary to provide UV irradiation and good heating.
  • The first three days the lizard can only bask, eat nothing.
  • Forcibly giving her food is not worth it.
  • With a successful outcome, the lizard will soon become active again and shed.

Hibernation should last at least one and not more than four months. Why such deadlines?

  • If wintering lasts less than a month, then it is not enough and problems arise, similar to those in the absence of hibernation at all.
  • If the lizard "sleeps" over a specified period, then it does not have enough energy and substances, exhaustion begins, and it dies during hibernation or when it leaves.

What are the health problems may be fast lizards

Most often they are two:

  • Binge eating. It leads to a decrease in activity, disease, shortening of life, problems with reproduction.

Signs of overeating: the animal almost does not eat, lies a lot and does not move much, does not shed, the belly has increased. In no case can not solve the problem simply by not giving food! It is necessary to gradually reduce its quantity, at the same time increasing the daylight and heating. All these measures should speed up the metabolic processes and normalize the state.

  • Malnutrition. Bad is considered fasting from 2-4 weeks without hibernation.

In this case, the body is depleted, the metabolism is disturbed, growth slows down, the color deteriorates, problems occur with reproduction, molting and hibernation. It is possible to determine malnutrition by leanness, hanging skin, shrunken tail, very high or, on the contrary, reduced activity, aggressiveness to everything.

You can not immediately give such animals a lot of food! You need to start with 1-2 nutrient insects, very gradually increasing the portion to normal. In parallel with this, increase daylight and heat, as well as humidity. It is important to know that after a long hunger strike, the process of digesting food is twice as long as before.

In this case, the activity will remain, but the metabolic processes will slow down, so that the energy and nutrient reserves will begin to be spent more slowly. Do not forget to leave the water too!

Reproduction of the sand lizard

A male ready for breeding raises the body above the ground, looks around. Seeing the female, pursues her. If you managed to catch, then grabs her mouth at the base of the tail, clasps its paws and mates.

After some time (usually the end of May), the female lays from 6 to 16 rather large eggs and buries them in a shallow hole. The embryo develops inside the egg, and a ready-made young lizard comes out (in July). Mothers can eat small lizards.

In conclusion, it remains only to say that in spite of its exoticism, nimble lizards are rather unpretentious creatures. The main thing is to create the "right" conditions for them from the very beginning. And they are cute and smart. Watching them is fun for both children and adults.