Long Tailed Grass Lizard Care Sheet and Guide

Long Tailed Grass Lizard Care Sheet and Guide

Long-tail lizards are pretty cool they are energetic and fun to watch.  We had seven or eight at one time in a 30-gallon tank.

They are another one that you do not want to hand vary much. It is not that they bit it’s that it puts too much stress on them.

We had them actually lay eggs though none of them hatched. I do not think we had the right conditions for that.

READ MORE: House Gecko Care Sheet

Long Tailed Grass Lizard Care Sheet

They eat medium crickets and mealworms, and if you are a patient you can get them to eat out of your hand.

We slowly lost them when my local pet store had a hard time getting crickets for about a month or so.

Then they stop selling them or we still have some. I think they are a good reptile for kids.

  • Scientific Name: Takydromus sexlineatus
  • Habitat: Well-planted Savanna
  • Diet: Insectivorous
  • Adult Size: 8-12 inches (mostly tail)
    Lifespan: 5 years or more
  • Native To Southeast Asia

The Basics:

Agile and active, yet calm and tolerant, the attractive Long Tail Grass Lizard makes an enjoyable pet for anyone willing to invest the time and effort in caring for it.

This is a very slender greenish-brown lizard with various stripe configurations. Its tail is considerably longer than its body. In nature, it spends most of its time moving through tall grass or areas of thick low-lying vegetation in search of insects however, it will also climb trees.

A docile lizard can be kept in communal enclosures, but some males can fight one another, so they should not be housed together. The Long Tail Grass Lizard is most active during daylight hours.

Vertical Space Essential:

Long Tail Grass Lizards are excellent climbers, so a vertically oriented enclosure with lots of climbing branches is a must. It is also a good idea to place cork bark on some enclosure sides to provide added climbing opportunities.

In nature, Long Tail Grass Lizards thrive in areas with thick vegetation, so plenty of plants and vines (real or artificial) should be kept in their enclosure.

The enclosure should be at least 20 gallons in size for a single specimen, but a larger tank is preferable. (Bigger is always better with these active lizards.)Any enclosure used should have a secure screened top for ventilation. Hiding places are also essential.

Substrate: moisture-retaining Material:

Since humidity is so important to the health of this species, it is essential to select a substrate that retains moisture without promoting the growth of molds, such as peat moss and bark chips (provided they are not made from aromatic woods like cedar and pine.)

Lighting: Full Spectrum:

Like other diurnal (daytime active) lizards, the Long Tail Grass

Lizard must be exposed to UVB and UVA light for 10-12 hours a day, exposure to UVB rays is critical in allowing the Long Tail Grass Lizard to synthesize vitamin D3 and absorb calcium.

If the lizard isn’t exposed to an adequate level of UVB lighting, it will develop a metabolic bone disorder. There are a variety of fluorescent tubes available at PSP that emit UVB light.

Fluorescent tubes that produce UVB rays should be replaced every six months. Glass blocks out UVB light, so overhead light sources should be kept behind a wire mesh cover, not a glass or acrylic tank top. This light source should be within 12 inches of the animal. Important – see the Note About Day/Night Light Cycles and Heating below.

Temperature: A Thermal Gradient:

The Long Tail Grass Lizard must be provided with a thermal gradient so it can regulate its body temperature.

Daytime ambient temperatures in the enclosure should range from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot in the 90-95 degree range. At night, temperatures can be lowered to 65-70 degrees.

Heat can be maintained through a combination of lamps. Nighttime temperatures can be maintained by ceramic heat emitters, which do not produce light.

Follow directions carefully with ceramic heat emitters, use fixtures with porcelain or ceramic sockets, and to protect against fires, do not place them with dry wood or flammable fabrics.

Since Long Tail Grass Lizards spend much of their time off the ground, under-tank heat pads should not be used to maintain enclosure temperatures.

Thermometers should be positioned in the warmer and cooler areas of the enclosure as well as in the basking spot. Enclosure temperatures should be monitored at branch level as well as ground level.

Note About Day/Night Light Cycles and Heating:

All reptiles, including this pet, must have distinct day and night periods in their enclosure to maintain their biological rhythms.

(See the lighting entry above for the specific length of this animal’s day/night cycle.) The day period must be light, and night must be dark.

A timer should be used to set day/night periods. If a heat source is required to maintain correct nighttime temperatures, use heat mats or strips mounted below or on the side of the tank, infrared heat lamps, ceramic heat emitters, or a combination of these products. This will allow the enclosure to be heated while remaining dark. Follow directions carefully with all products.

If ceramic heat emitters are used always choose fixtures with porcelain or ceramic sockets and to protect against fires do not place them with dry wood or flammable fabrics. Ceramic heat emitters must be kept out of the reach of children and all pets, including dogs and cats.

Humidity: High Levels Are Essential:

Maintaining a humid enclosure is essential to maintaining the health of the Long Tail Grass Lizard.

Daily misting with chlorine-free water and a shallow bowl of chlorine-free water should be used to keep the enclosure’s humidity at 70-75 percent. A drip system might also be considered.

A hygrometer should be used to measure humidity levels like many lizards, Long Tail Grass Lizards will often drink by taking droplets from leaves and other surfaces. However, a bowl of fresh chlorine-free water should always be provided.

A Note About Water:

All water given to this pet for drinking, as well as water used for misting, soaking, or bathing, must be 100% free of chlorine and heavy metals.

(Not all home water filtration systems remove 100% of the chlorine and heavy metals from tap water, so check your system’s specifications before using it to filter water for your pet.)

We recommend that you use unflavored bottled drinking water or bottled natural spring water and never untreated tap water. If tap water is used, you should treat it with a dechlorinating treatment.

Do not use distilled water, which can cause severe medical problems, since it lacks minerals that are essential to important body functions.

Diet: Insects Every Other day:

Long Tail Grass Lizards are insectivorous, so they should be fed a variety of insects, such as commercially available crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, earthworms, and the occasional waxworm.

Offer food to these lizards every other day, unless they’re growing juveniles, in which case they can be fed once a day. Adults and juveniles should be offered 3-6 appropriately sized insects every meal. Insects should be gut-loaded and dusted with a supplement before being offered. Important — It is necessary to provide calcium and vitamin supplements as part of the diet

A Note About Gut Loading

Feeding crickets a nutritious diet will pass on vital nutrients to your reptile. When reptiles eat these insects they are able to absorb the nutrients.

This is why it is important to gut load crickets at least 48 hours before offering them to a reptile. Commercial cricket foods provide a convenient way to gut load crickets. (Always follow manufacturer’s directions.) Crickets should also be provided with water, preferably in the form of oranges or a commercial water gel product designed specifically to hydrate feeder insects.

Putting a shallow dish of water in the cricket holding tank will result in insects drowning and promote the spread of bacteria. You can also create your own gut-loading formula. Our vet recommends a mix of ground-up dog food, cereal, and fresh greens with oranges or a commercial gel for water.

A Note About Supplements:

Dust insects with calcium supplements and vitamin supplements. As a rule, a growing juvenile’s food should be dusted more often than an adult’s.

Follow product label directions when applying supplements, and avoid over-supplementing food. The following is a possible supplementing schedule for this reptile. Our veterinarian recommends dusting insects with a plain calcium supplement every time they are offered to the pet.

(Avoid using a calcium supplement with added phosphorous, unless specifically directed by your veterinarian, since this can promote kidney disease.) Our veterinarian also recommends dusting insects with a D3 supplement once a week and a vitamin supplement two times a month.

This is only one recommendation, consult your veterinarian for specific directions on supplementing your pet’s food since there are many variables that go into determining the best-supplementing regimen for a given animal.

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And with that, we have successfully come to an end of the Complete Long-tailed grass lizard care sheet.

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