Argentine Black and White Tegu: Keeping and Care

Argentine Black and White Tegu: Keeping and Care

Argentine Black and White Tegu (Tupinambis merianae) is a really attention-grabbing and exquisite lizard that lives within the jungles of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.


Tegu is giant lizards with a physique size of greater than a meter. In pure circumstances, there are even two-meter people! Males are bigger and extra highly effective than females. Adult Tegu weigh 7-8 kg. The physique of the lizard is flattened, brief and powerful legs are nicely tailored for digging, brief and powerful (by the best way, they like to dig). By the identify of the animal, it’s straightforward to guess that its colour is black and white – alternating transverse stripes run everywhere in the physique.

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Of course, not everybody has the chance to maintain a one and a half meter dinosaur of their house, and never everybody will dare to do that. But you probably have each the need and the alternatives, you’re going to get a beautiful – uncommon and weird pet, which, with excellent care and caring perspective, can reside subsequent to you for greater than 15 years.


To preserve the Argentine Tegu, initially, you will want a big and really sturdy terrarium. The minimal measurement of a dwelling for one grownup reptile is 250x90x90 cm, and for a pair of animals – 250x120x120 cm. Needless to say, the bigger the terrarium, the extra snug your pets might be. The high of the terrarium needs to be closed with a internet – Tegu simply overcomes all obstacles.

The humidity within the terrarium needs to be stored at 60-70%. The backside of the terrarium needs to be lined with a deep layer of substrate. A mixture of soil and sawdust is appropriate as such – such a cloth retains moisture nicely. Once or twice a day, the litter needs to be sprayed with heat water, however with out making a “swamp”, however in order that it’s barely damp.

Several giant driftwood and stones can function decor. Both reside and synthetic vegetation won’t work – they are going to merely be instantly destroyed by the reptile. If the substrate is deep sufficient on your pet to burrow in it, you gained’t want shelter. Otherwise, shelter needs to be taken care of. The feeder and drinker have to be made from sturdy materials and should not tip over.
For a child, Tegu wants to offer a substrate depth of 7-10 cm, an adolescent will want 20-25 cm, and for an grownup animal, the bedding layer might be as much as 50 cm.

For Tegu, it’s mandatory to offer a temperature distinction within the terrarium. The heat a part of the terrarium needs to be round 30 ° C, and the chilly 24-25 ° C. Remember that that is the floor temperature, not the air temperature, so that you want an infrared thermometer. The night time temperature ought to keep round 24 ° C and by no means drop beneath 18 ° C – in any other case, the heat-loving reptile could catch a chilly. The finest answer can be to put in a number of lamps of low energy – it’s simpler to attain the required temperatures.

To present the animal with the UV mild it wants, it is strongly recommended to make use of a big UV 10.0 tube lamp. An various is to make use of a mercury UV lamp as an alternative of one of many heating lamps.
All lighting and heating lamps needs to be on 12-14 hours a day, and the terrarium needs to be plunged into darkness for 10-12 hours.
Tegu likes to soak within the water – to wash your pet will want a pool giant sufficient to suit your complete lizard. The pool water ought to all the time be contemporary.


Your pet is primarily a carnivore. Under pure circumstances, these predators eat any reside meals that comes alongside and with which they’re able to deal, however they are going to definitely diversify their weight loss plan with fruits.

Diet of an grownup lizard

In captivity, the weight loss plan of an grownup lizard ought to include a 3rd of bugs (locusts, crickets, mealworms, forage cockroaches) and earthworms, a 3rd of all sorts of meat (hen breasts, beef liver, and coronary heart, and so on.), and a 3rd of plant meals (Tegu love tomatoes, grapes, pineapple, mushrooms, cabbage, peas, melons, mangoes, apples, strawberries). Don’t give Tegu citrus!

From time to time, the lizard might be pampered with rodents. One serving for an grownup Tegu is a full dinner plate. When feeding grownup lizards, one fasting day is organized each three days.

It is advisable to feed Tegu based on the next scheme: 1-day bugs or worms, 1-day fruits or greens, 1-day meat, and 1 day – hungry.

How to feed juveniles?

The foundation of the weight loss plan of a younger lizard is bugs (locusts, crickets, mealworms, forage cockroaches). Plant meals ought to make up about 25% of the weight loss plan and 5-10% for mice and rats.
In this case, the feeding scheme is as follows: 4 days – bugs (10-15 items per feeding), 2 days – vegetable meals, 1 day – a mouse or rat.

At any age, Tegu wants vitamin and calcium dietary supplements, that are added to all reside meals. When mixed with UV rays, dietary supplements will assist develop and stop metabolic bone illness. These lizards are liable to weight problems – don’t overfeed them!


Can Tegu be tamed? Experts imagine that, in precept, it’s potential to tame a reptile. Only persistence and energy will take dozens of instances extra for this than, for instance, for taming a canine. The important factor on this troublesome matter is to not rush.

If Tegu has simply appeared in your home, at first it’s higher to not trouble him along with your extreme consideration. Give the beginner a few weeks to get used to the brand new atmosphere. Do not trouble him for no motive, solely when mandatory (if you want to feed, change the water or do the cleansing). Most possible, at first, your pet will attempt to disguise, seeing you close to the terrarium. If you attempt to take him in your arms, put together for the truth that he’ll chunk, scratch and beat you along with his tail – it is a consequence of worry.

When the lizard begins to belief you and stops hiding, you’ll be able to attempt to feed it with tweezers. Then begin placing your hand near Tegu, and if every part is so as and also you see that the pet is now not so fearful, strive touching his head. Continue to feed him with tweezers and prepare him to not be afraid of your palms. Over time, Tegu will change into extra tolerant of you. It is feasible to make sure that the lizard will enable itself to be taken in hand. Some lizards ultimately even start to take pleasure in human interplay.

And in conclusion, earlier than you get your self such a pet, it’s best to know that Tegu shouldn’t be for a newbie. Keeping and caring for an Argentine Tegu requires a specific amount of expertise and data. And additionally, you will want sufficient house within the condominium, a number of your money and time.

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