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Posted by nathan619 on August 28, 2002 at 17:37:06:
Here is a good one from Draconis Herps on Southern and Western Alli's
are of Southern Alligator Lizard's
Southern alligator Lizards get to 20" while westerns get to 18". The information on this page is compatibale for both species of alligator lizards. Alligator Lizards are NOT comppatible with Western Fence Lizards! So don't put the 2 together. Both are terrotorial but western fence lizards do well with others of their species.
Your Lizard will need adequate housing. You can atain this with something no less than 20"/10"/10" or the size of a 10 gal. aquarium. Since the lizards themselves reach 20" you will want to maake that the minimum amount of space in your terrarium. You will need to provide heating in their home either with heating pads or strips or with a light. They should have many places to hide with a variety of different textures. I.E. Wood, Rocks, astroturf, real turf, and other hide holes and crevices. The can coil up quite well so give them a small thing like an egg carton bump cut out to coil up in. A a substrate you can use wood chips, NEVER CEDAR. Rocks dirt and other things such as newspaper or astroturf but in general they like the more natural substrate.
You will see your lizard out and about close to 7:30 PM until close to 10:00 PM They are a secretive animal but if taken care of make a great pet. If provoked they will open their mouth and HISSSSS at you like a snake. They can lose or drop their tail when they feel their is danger so be careful. Their tails are incredibly strong and if you pick them up by their tail they will climb up it and possibly bite you. They are much like a snake in that they very much so slink along and that they shed in one piece. To do that they get the skin hooked under something like a rock or stick and start wriggling and crawling. They will shed about once a month but their eyes don't milk up like snakes do.
They are Voracious cricket eaters and can eat up to 40 crickets a week. They do not eat Rolly polly, slugs, earthworms, or earwigs. They can be fed mealworms if they eat them but they like crickets the most. They should have their crickets or food dusted with Reptocal food and vitamin Supplements. The crickets eat just plain flake fish food. A bowl of water should provide all of the Humidity needed and a rock or stick placed in it will keep the crickets from drowning. If you don't feel that dusting the crickets is enough you can mix the vitamins in the water dish and with the cricket food.
Your lizard should have between 74*F to 82*F in the day and should get to the low 70's during the night. You should have a full spectrum UV lamp to provide your lizard with vitamin D and a heat lamp or spot light over or next to the cage. A heating pad or strip can be placed under half of the cage at night or a reed or black heat lamp will work without upsetting the lizards sleep.
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