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Key Factors for Captive Horned Lizard Survival


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Posted by Jeff Judd on April 03, 2003 at 09:59:03:

Please offer more advice and suggestions.

Provide UV lighting.

Have a seasonal photoperiod.

Provide a temperature gradient of 105 F to room temperature. Night temps can fall from room temp to the 60s.

Provide ants in the diet.

Offer only appropiate sized food items.

Only offer a few food items at a time.

Only feed insects that have been kept in a clean environment to discourage disease.

Make sure to remove scats daily to reduce bacteria build up.

Offer water by dropping it on the nostril area with an eye dropper or lightly mist the horned lizards body. Depending on the species water availability varies seasonally but offering water twice a month will be adequate for most species.

Keep humidity low except for slight substrate moisture during the time water is being offered. According to two highly specialized phrynosoma breeders the substrate should be kept very dry. I used to keep moisture in the substrate at all times but recently ran into skin fungus so now I keep the substrate dry.(I should have followed their advice)

Do not overcrowd enclosures. Some individuals will become highly stressed if they don't have adequate space and will succumb to disease.

Most wild caught individuals have been put through high levels of stress and don't adapt well to captivity.


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