Desert Spiny Lizard Care Sheet (2022 Guide)

Desert Spiny Lizard Care Sheet

This is the desert Spiny Lizard Care Sheet. A well-laid-out desert vivarium is a wonderful sight.

This type of setup is based on the dry desert and is suitable for Desert Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus magister), Crevice Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus poinsetti), and similarly sized desert species.

There are lots of desert creatures that can be kept in a desert vivarium some scorpions, insects, snakes, and lizards.

Spiny Lizards are not just cool looking, they are also a great pet. But, like any pet they require care and maintenance. This article will show you how to take care of your spiny lizards and provide tips on how to ensure that you get the most out of your new little friend.

Spiny Lizard Care Sheet

The vivarium below is a 36-inch long melamine vivarium, this size is the minimum recommended for lizards of around 12 inches long.

Repotting Snake Plant

Other sized lizards will have different requirements as shown below:

Lizard LengthSize for a single specimen (LxHxW in inches)Size for a pair
4 – 6 inches24 x 15 x 1236 x 15 x 12
6 – 8 inches24 x 15 x 1236 x 15 x 12
8 – 10 inches36 x 15 x 1236 x 15 x 12
10 – 12 inches36 x 15 x 1248 x 15 x 12

READ MORE: Tokay Gecko Guide

For larger reptiles, the enclosure may need to be wider and taller rather than just longer. e.g. 72 x 36 x 24

The substrate in the desert vivarium is usually calcium sand or sand and gravel mix, this should be a minimum of 3 times as deep as the lizard is thick – e.g. a lizard is around 1 inch thick from its back to its belly there for the substrate is 3 x 1 inch = 3 inches deep.

This is because many lizards bury themselves under the sand and lay in wait for the odd insect that strays too close!

Almost all desert lizards are also good climbers, this must be provided in the habitat in order for them to act naturally.

A well-branched piece of natural grape wood makes a perfect climbing frame for desert lizards.

In addition to a climbing frame, all the lizards will require somewhere to hide. You can use a pile of rocks, a prefabricated cave, piles of natural cork bark, or similar items.

If you use rocks it is a good idea to assemble the rock pile outside the vivarium and glue all the bits together using a suitable silicone sealant.

Desert Spiny Lizard Care Sheet

This will prevent the rocks from collapsing and possibly harming your reptiles.

Place a rock pile at both the warm end under the spotlight and at the cool end where there is no extra heating, this will allow the reptile to select either a warm retreat or a cool one.

Heating a desert vivarium will depend on the intended guest, in most cases, a heat mat can be used under the sand.

Do Spiny Lizards Need Shed?

Additional daytime heating should be provided by a spotlight at one end of the enclosure, this should be pointing at a suitable basking area (pile of rocks, etc). 

To maintain the correct temperature for the reptiles you can install a thermostat to control the heating equipment.

A mat stat is intended for use with a heating mat and turns it on and off to reach the desired temperature you selected on the front dial.

Light and Temperature Needs for Spiny Lizard

A more complex type would be a dimming day/night thermostat which can be set to adjust the power going to the mat, spotlight, etc depending on whether it’s day or night.

The lizards will mostly be active during the day so will need exposure to UV light in the form of a UV strip light, select one that emits 5% – 7% UVB.

The UV light and spotlight should be turned on at 8 am and off at 8 pm or any other 12-hour combination, you can use a simple electronic timer to accomplish this.

All animals need fresh water to survive and desert reptiles are no different.

Place a shallow bowl of water (5 x 3 inches) in the enclosure and change it daily.

The fully finished setup looks like a piece of furniture and fits in almost anywhere.

How To Care For Your Spiny Lizards

This care sheet provides information and advice for caring for spiny lizards.

Know the different types of spiny lizards

There are many different types of spiny lizards, each with its own unique care needs. Be sure to research the specific type of spiny lizard you have before attempting to care for it. Some common types of spiny lizards include leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and African fat-tailed geckos. Each of these lizards has different temperature, humidity, and food requirements that must be met in order to keep them healthy.

Leopard geckos are a popular type of spiny lizard that is native to parts of Asia and Africa. They typically grow to be about 8-10 inches long and can live for 10-20 years in captivity. Leopard geckos are relatively easy to care for and make a great pet for first-time reptile owners. They prefer warm temperatures and need a diet that consists mostly of insects.

Bearded dragons are another popular type of spiny lizard that originates from Australia. They can grow to be 2-3 feet long and have a lifespan of 10-15 years. In the wild, most of their diet consists of insects, but they will

Know their care requirements

When it comes to caring for spiny lizards, it is important to know their care requirements. These lizards are native to arid and semi-arid regions of the world, so they require a warm, dry environment. In captivity, they should be provided with a spacious enclosure that has plenty of hiding places and basking spots. The floor of the enclosure should be covered with sand or another substrate that can hold heat well.

Spiny lizards require a diet that is high in protein and calcium. They should be offered a variety of live insects as well as some leafy greens. It is important to dust their food with a calcium powder supplement to ensure they are getting enough of this vital nutrient.

Providing your spiny lizard with the proper care will help them stay healthy and happy in captivity.

What to feed them

If you’re thinking of getting a spiny lizard as a pet, congratulations! These active and entertaining lizards make great pets for reptile lovers of all ages. But before you bring your new pet home, there are a few things you should know about their care.

One of the most important things to know about caring for spiny lizards is what to feed them. In the wild, these lizards are mostly insectivores, so their diet should consist of a variety of insects. You can purchase live insects at your local pet store, or you can catch them yourself (if you’re feeling adventurous!). Just make sure that whatever insects you feed your lizard are no bigger than the space between their eyes.

You should also supplement your lizard’s diet with some vegetables and fruits. chopped-up greens, like lettuce and collard greens, and small pieces of fruits like berries are good options. You can either feed your lizard these items directly, or you can mix them into their insect food.

Finally, it’s important to provide your spiny lizard with a source of calcium. This will help them stay healthy and avoid problems like a metabolic bone disease. You can provide calcium by dusting their food with a calcium

How often to feed them

Spiny lizards need to be fed about once a week. You can feed them live food, like crickets or worms, or you can give them frozen food that has been thawed.

What type of substrate do they need?

There are a variety of substrates that can be used for spiny lizards, including sand, soil, mulch, and gravel. Each type of substrate has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to select the one that’s best for your particular lizard.

Sand is a popular substrate for spiny lizards because it holds heat well and allows the lizard to burrow. However, sand can also be difficult to keep clean and may cause digestive problems if your lizard eats it.

Soil is another common substrate choice. It’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive, but it doesn’t hold heat as well as sand and can be messy.

Mulch is a good middle ground between sand and soil. It holds heat reasonably well and isn’t as messy as soil, but it can be more expensive than other options.

Gravel is the least popular choice for spiny lizards, as it doesn’t hold heat well and can be difficult to keep clean. However, gravel is the most affordable option and maybe the best choice if you’re on a budget.

Do desert spiny lizards shed?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of handling a desert spiny lizard, you may have noticed that their skin feels tough and leathery. This is because desert spiny lizards have scales that are fused to their skin.

Unlike other lizards that shed their skin periodically, desert spiny lizards do not shed their skin. Instead, their sales continue to grow as they age. If you take good care of your desert spiny lizard, you can expect it to have a long and healthy life.

Are spiny lizards aggressive?

No, spiny lizards are not aggressive. They are, however, very shy and easily scared. If you approach them too quickly or make sudden movements, they may run away or hide.

How long do spiny lizards live?

Spiny lizards are a type of lizard that is known for their spines. These lizards are native to the deserts of Africa, Asia, and Australia.

They are also found in the southern United States. In the wild, spiny lizards can live for up to 20 years.

Can desert spiny lizards be pets?

Desert spiny lizards are interesting creatures that can make great pets. They are native to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the wild, they can be found basking in the sun on rocks and in trees.

If you’re thinking of adding a desert spiny lizard to your family, there are a few things you need to know first. These lizards are not for everyone. They require special care and attention. If you’re not prepared to provide them with the care they need, they will not thrive.

When choosing a desert spiny lizard, look for one that is healthy and active. Avoid lizards that appear sickly or lethargic. You should also choose a lizard that is the right size for your home. Baby lizards grow quickly and can become too large for a small cage.

Desert spiny lizards need a warm, dry environment. Their cage should be equipped with a basking light and a heat source. The cage should also have plenty of hiding places for your lizard to retreat to when it feels threatened or stressed.

Provide your desert spiny lizard with a diet of live insects. Feeder insects require calcium dusting before feeding.

What do baby desert spiny lizards eat?

When it comes to feeding your baby desert spiny lizard, you have a few options. You can either feed them live food, or you can feed them pre-killed food.

If you choose to feed them live food, make sure that the insects are no bigger than the space between the lizard’s eyes. You can also offer them a variety of vegetables, such as chopped carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Can Texas spiny lizards lose their tails?

Yes, Texas spiny lizards can lose their tails. If your lizard’s tail falls off, don’t worry – it will grow back! But, there are a few things you should do to help your lizard recover:

  1. Move your lizard to a safe, warm place.
  2. Clean the wound with warm water and soap.
  3. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the wound.
  4. Put your lizard on a diet of soft foods for a few weeks while its tail regrows.

If you take good care of your lizard, it will be back to its old self in no time!


We hope this article has given you some useful tips on how to care for your spiny lizard. These reptiles make great pets and can provide years of enjoyment, but they do require some special care. By following the advice in this article, you can help your spiny lizard stay healthy and happy for many years to come.