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Tegu Care Sheet

Scientific Name: Tupinambis spp

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Tegus are one of the biggest lizard families, and include many different species. They come from mountain and forested areas of South America.



Natural Location: South America
Average Lifespan: Up to 10 Years
Estimated Size: 3' to 4'
Captive Care Information

Food & Water

Tegus will eat feeder insects as their food source. Provide them crickets, mealworms, slikworms, butterworms, grasshoppers and other insects. The wider the variety the better. You can also offer them previously frozen, then thawed, rodents. If offereing live rodents, watch them until it is gone. Live rodents can be very dangerous to lizards. Make sure to use either a multi-vitamin dust, or a vitamin spray. Gut-load the feeder insects as well. The Tegu will also need a large, shallow, sturdy container of water. They will drink and soak in the water. Provide fresh water each day.

Lighting, Temperature & Humidity

Make sure to provide your Tegu with full-spectrum flourescent lighting. The UV rays are essential to the healthy development of the lizard. Tegus need a wide heat gradient, ranging from 100 degrees F to 75 degrees F. You can use either an incandescent bulb or a ceramic emitter for the heat. You will also need a high humidity level. Live plants and daily misting will keep the humidity levels optimum.


The variety of Tegu species will need different size enclosures. All of them will need a large enclosure. The enclosure needs to be sealed very tight. Use peat moss, soil, jungle floor or bark for a substrate. Provide lots of branches and rocks for climbing, and include a large hiding spot.

We will provide further information on the housing requirements of the individual Tegu species in the future.


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