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Pics of Desert Horned Lizards and Harvester Ants

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Posted by Lyn on June 01, 2002 at 09:56:59:

I was concerned that the Desert Horned Lizards left at the pet store would not go to Ant providing homes, so I adopted 2 more this week and urged the store to stop carrying them, stating the large enclosure sizes needed and how quickly the cost of the Ants can build up. I wish I could buy them all, drive them back to Nevada, and let them free. But since that is not currently an option, I am stiving to provide mine with the best lives they can have in captivity. My first order of 500 Harvester Ants will be gone in a blink of the eye now that I have 4 HLs. Future orders will be much larger! I was please with the service I received from Life Studies and will continue to do business with them ( ) Here are some pics of my little guys...

Godzilla (you've seen him if you've read my prev posting) He is the Alpha male from the interactions I have witnessed. He is my darkest and reddest HL.

Hercules (you've seen him too if you've read my prev posting) He has wonderful markings, and is the craziest over the Ants. When he sees the container come out he runs to the front of the tank and wags his tail furiously while pacing back and forth until I put the Ants in the tank. Wish I could get it on video!

Mushu... This is the 3rd HL I adopted. He has an overall Orange cast and is the most submissive of the group. I have to be careful to make sure he gets enough food since he is shy and tends to eat only after the others are full (not an easy task getting a Horned Lizard full!)

Here's another shot of Mushu showing his orange coloring. I think he looks like he's 'rusty' :-)

Last but not least is my 4th adoptee (picked him up last night), his name is Tumbleweed. These pics don't show his true coloring. He is a wonderful cream color. I was sad when I got him home and he had darkened up, like in these pics, but this morning when I checked on them he was back to his beautiful light coloring. I took some new pics but haven't had them developed yet.

Tumbleweed is the one I liked from the start at the shop, but he refused to eat any of the times the pet store guy put crickets in, so I stuck with the ones who were eating. I finally decided to take a chance on him anyways since he looked healthy, figuring he's probably eat the ants even though he wouldn't eat crickets. I was right. He was chowing down on Ants w/in 15 minutes of arriving in his new home and being reunited with his tankmates :-)

The Ants are large and red. Not as big as my local Carpenter Ants, but bigger than the ones in my garden. You can't touch them because they can bite. They are poor climbers so they are fairly easy to contain. Here is a pic of 500 Harvesters in a rubbermaid container. I have to get more ASAP as this bunch is almost gone already!

Here is a closer view of the Ants

I'd like to take an opportunity to than Lester for all of his helpful advise and encouragement. I have found no care sheets on Horned Lizards and no books in the local stores (I will order one online to learn more). This forum has been my sole source of education on this species.
I really love these guys and will do my best to provide them with the best care they can get in captivity. Hope you enjoyed the pics!

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