Agamids (Dragons) Caresheet

 

Background Information
Agamids are old word lizards. Their primative looks and rough scaled bodies are the reason that alot of species in the agamid family are known as dragons. Consisting of more than 350 known species. Agamas are a large growing lizard family. Smaller species grow to about a foot in length, others can get 2 - 6ft + in size. They have big broad heads, powerful legs and long tails. Designed well for movement, Agamids are active lizards where it be on the ground or higher up in the trees, they interact with others of their kind with certain postures, signals or changes of colouration. Some agama's are diamorphic where in most cases males tend to be brighter than females. Others change certain parts of their bodies to display to females or rival males for territory or to mate. Agamids best hunting sense is their sight using their powerful legs and long tails to run quickly and stay balanced to chase down their prey. They have also evolved strong jaws to crush harder invertabrates and to rip of vegatation to use as a moisture source where water is scarce.

Level of Experience

Beginner to Experianced

Habitat

Tropical Rainforests, Arid Regions

Life Span

8 - 15 years the average lifespan of Agamas

Active Time of Day

Diurnal meaning active during the day

Natural Prey

Most eat insects but some eat vegatation and seeds.

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Some are terrestrial and some are Arboreal

Reproduction

Agamas are egg layers most breeding in spring and lay in the summer months,they dig a nest and deposit their eggs

Clutch Size

Agamids tend to lay large clutches of 10 - 40 eggs

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males mature faster then females. It is important that females are the right size and weight to healthly lay

Brumation Time

A few months in winter tends to be the norm for agamids

Brumation Temperature

Varies on where the agamid derives from.

Incubation Time

Depending on the agama anywhere from 50 - 75 days

Incubation Temperature

28 – 32 ’C for most agamas again species depending

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Agamids in the wild have evolved to harness the use of the sun to warm their bodies and utilise UVB to allow their bodies to grow more than any other type of reptile. It is essiential that this is provided for any agama to grow and devloped its body properly espeically its skeletal system. Another important factor is a photoperiod of daylight and night. This plays a part in hunting, socialising and other natural behaviours. It is also crictical in completing their UVB cycle for healthy growth . Most agamids in the pet trade come from warm climates so a wooden vivarium suits them better to keep the heat in.

Vivarium size

These lizards are very active and grow to a fair size therefore it is important to give them this space, whether it be to climb or move about on the ground.

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

Agamas like temperatures from mid 20's all the way to really hot and dry 45 - 48 'C the highest temperatures are often basking area's so they can gather heat and UVB

Night-time Temperature

Night time temperatures can drop naturally as they would in the wild by about 5 - 6 'C

Heating / Lighting Equipment (on timer)

Spot bulbs or ceramic heaters are best for Agamids these must be in conjunction with a UV system of some sort to give them the UVB they need for their bodies and a photoperiod

Substrate

Most Natural: Eco earth + orchid Bark or sand depending on their natural enviroment
Alternatives: Not Advised

Hides

Agamids are quite confident reptiles compared to others so hides are as much of a neccesity. They do like an elevation point to view their surroundings, bask and a night time prefer the higher ground to not be as vulnerable to predators.

Decor

Arboreal agamas like a lot of foliage and branches. Arid agamids like elevation points

Water

Fresh water can be provided but as stated before agamids tend to get their hydration from vegetation. Some do enjoy baths though in lukewarm water

Food (Feeding)

Small sized hoppers / crickets or mealworms every other day then increase as they grow. Agamas that eat vegatation or seeds must also be offered these every other day.

Cleaning

Spot every other day,full clean monthly