Frogs and Reptiles (2)
It’s not often a new species of lizard hits the pet market place. Especially one that has all the criteria for making it popular and easy to care for—not to mention looks pretty cool too. The common name for this new reptile is the Steppe lizard. (Well, it’s not really a new reptile; they've been around for thousands of years, just new to
The scientific name is Eremias Arguta and in its indigenous country it’s known as the Steppenrenner. I've also heard it called a Desert Racer—probably because it is usually found near sandy beaches and will dart off into hiding in low bushy vegetation when threatened. No matter what you call them, they are hitting the pet scene in a big way. Reptile enthusiasts rejoice.
There are a couple of points that make them interesting. For one, they don’t get very big, only 6 inches full grown. Number two, they are easy to feed and don’t eat very much (I like economical) and number three, they are hand-able—they don’t bite and they don’t freak-out when you hold them (this is a big plus in my book). Bonus feature—they’re inexpensive—$30-35 (that’s even a bigger plus in my book).
Steppe Lizards have a plump body with nice markings and a head that’s similar to a Tegu monitor, and a serpent type tongue. Although, I’m not sure if it’s split or not, but it is narrow and long. The tail has small spikes and the body is relatively smooth. Click here to check-out a video of his forked tongue.
There is not a lot of information on these guys at the time of this posting, but we do know the basics for keeping them healthy and active.
- Insect eaters, (crickets, meal worms, etc.)
- Calcium powder with vitamin D3
- UVA light for assimilation of D3
- Daytime heat source between 80-90 degrees
- Nighttime heat source about 70-75 degrees
- Best kept dry, but provide water
- 10 Gal tank with lid (adequate for one or two adult lizards)
- Shelter (rocks, caves, or bushes)
- Aspen bedding, coconut fiber, or indoor/outdoor carpeting (not sure if sand is a good idea. Let me know if you find out it works for you)
Feel free to contact me if you have more information or different information on these lizards.
Endangered leatherback sea turtle population is on the increase on Florida's beaches, but the news isn't that good for other areas, including Mexico and Costa Rica. The Duke Univerity study suggests that we are on the right track and there has been a 10.2% increase in the population over the past 30 years. The full article can be read HERE