Many people have exotic animals, predatory fish, poisonous spiders, and various reptiles as pets. Recently, the bearded dragon has gained popularity. Keeping such a lizard is not difficult – it is enough to create the right conditions for it and provide it with the necessary food.
Breeders refer to such a lizard as the Agama as a large breed. In its natural environment, it can reach 60 cm in length, and more than half the length is its tail. This bearded reptile was nicknamed because of its spikes on the head and throat, which swell up strongly if it senses danger. At such moments, these spikes are very similar to a beard.
Her body itself is gray or a mixture of brown and green shades has a flattened shape. The color can change periodically, its color will depend on the climatic conditions, as well as the mood of the animal itself. Agama has rather strong and muscular legs, on the fingers of which there are sharp claws. Some breeds have small pointed spines on the sides of the body.
The mouth of the lizard is rather wide, the teeth are sharp. The reptile captures its prey with its front fangs, but with its back teeth, it processes it. The wide tongue has a sticky zone with which the Agave catches insects.
In addition, the reptile has very sensitive hearing and excellent vision, which help it to successfully hunt at any time of the day.
Lifestyle and Character
The threatening appearance of this pet often creates the misconception that this pet dragon is very dangerous. In fact, this reptile is very affectionate and calm. But a frightening stance for many can be observed only in males and during the race when he demonstrates his strength to the female and threatens enemies who encroach on his beloved.
This breed of reptile is fearless enough. Agamas always try to attack the enemy first, while trying to do this with the help of their external data, take a frightening stance, make sounds, jump and actively wag their tail.
Experienced breeders do not recommend keeping several reptiles in the same terrarium at once. The fact is that they rarely get along together. That is why at home it is extremely rare to meet a lizard with a tail, since they lose it during collisions, and their tail, unlike other breeds, no longer grows. And they unite reptiles only during the rutting season to give them the opportunity to breed.
General Care Tips
In its natural environment, the Bearded Agama can live for about 8 years, but if you provide the reptile with ideal conditions, you can extend its life to 10-12 years. Before you start such an exotic animal, you need to find out in what container it needs to be kept, what food it prefers. Only after learning all the intricacies of care, you can purchase a reptile.
Preparing the Terrarium
Such a pet must be kept only in a special terrarium. Moreover, it must be rather large so that the lizard can move freely. Basically, for the Bearded Agave, they acquire a container of the following sizes:
- length – 0.8 meters;
- height – 0.4 meters;
- width – 0.5 meters.
Coarse sand must be poured at the bottom. But you cannot put small stones in the terrarium, the Agama can swallow them. The terrarium must be closed, it is best to choose a lattice covering for this, then fresh air will always circulate in the terrarium.
Temperature and Illumination
For reptiles, air temperature is very important. A too cold terrarium or, conversely, a very hot temperature regime will negatively affect an exotic pet. To maintain optimal conditions, it is necessary to install a thermometer inside the tank in order to control the temperature, namely:
- in the daytime, it should vary from +25 to 30 degrees;
- at night, try not to lower it below +20 degrees.
You can buy these thermometers at pet stores. In addition, reptiles need weekly water treatments. To do this, you can simply wipe it off with a damp cloth or spray the lizard with a spray bottle.
And also it is necessary to create good illumination for the Agama. This can be done using an ultraviolet lamp, which perfectly replaces natural sunlight. Daylight hours for Agama should last at least 12 hours.
Bearded Agaves feed on both plant foods and animals. But they need to make up the diet taking into account their age and size. Young individuals grow fast enough, so it is better to feed them with protein food. It is better for them to prepare a special mixture, which includes:
- various insects – 80%;
- vegetables, green grass, fruits – 20%.
You should not feed the Agama with protein food every day, it is enough to do it once every three days, if the food is left unfinished, it must be removed. The fact is that Agama at home often suffers from obesity, so you need to try not to overfeed her.
All food should be very finely chopped so that the pet cannot choke. If you plan to feed the Agama with insects, then you should not catch them yourself, they can be sick or infectious. Pet stores sell special live food for the Bearded Agama.
Agama needs calcium, it must be given in the form of mineral supplements, which are pre-sprinkled with protein feed. You can sometimes pamper a reptile with eggshells, only finely crushed. And also breeders recommend adding multivitamins, which are intended for reptiles, to food at least once a month, but they must be given strictly according to the instructions.