Are Armadillo Lizards Good Pets?

Armadillo lizards might just be one of the coolest little lizards you'll ever see. If you're a reptile lover, this is why this tiny lizard is a good pet.

Just one look at the scaly armadillo lizard and you'll agree with us: these tiny little reptiles are probably the closest thing we'll ever get to real dragons, let alone, a dragon you can actually own — yes, you heard that right, a DRAGON! The armadillo girdled lizard (or if you want to get all science-y: Ouroborus Cataphractus), or just simply, armadillo lizard, is a lizard species native to the deserts of South Africa. These cool-looking spiny lizards are also commonly known as the Golden-armadillo lizard, the armadillo spiny-tailed lizard, or the armadillo Jones lizard.

Belonging to the Cordylidae family, the armadillo lizard got their name from their armadillo-like behavior: when these little guys are scared or feel threatened, as a defense mechanism, they will curl up into a circle and bite their tails to form a ring, protecting themselves from predators, just like armadillos.

Yes, these reptiles are really quite fascinating, but for those looking to get a pet reptile, is the armadillo lizard a good option?

Is the Armadillo Lizard a Good Pet?

Similar to other popular pet reptiles like Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Crested Geckos, and Chameleons, Armadillo Lizards make good pets — especially for any first-time reptile owners.

This tiny lizard is a great exotic pet. Other than being hardy and easy to take care of, these pet lizards are very social and like to hang out in social groups made up of other armadillo lizards. In fact, it's best to have more than one armadillo lizard as having a buddy will keep this pet lizard happy. This social behavior is unique to these little guys and has captivated researchers and herpetologists over the years.

How Do You Care for Pet Armadillo Lizards?

Care for armadillo lizards is pretty easy: a simple terrarium setup is all you really need for housing these tiny lizards. As it's always best to replicate their natural habitat, be sure to give them a basking area, since they spend so much time basking on rocks in the wild. There should also be a lot of flat rocks in the 20 to 30-gallon tank, because in the wild, these lizards live among rock crevices in the South African desert.

You can feed your pet lizard an assortment of insects and, on occasion, some leafy greens. Armadillo lizards eat mostly termites, but you can also feed them crickets dusted with a calcium supplement — luckily, this can usually be found in most pet stores. Just avoid mealworms for your armadillo lizard. Also, be sure to provide a shallow water dish to be changed daily.

Armadillo lizards are dark brown in color and can have an expected lifespan of 25 years in captivity when taken good care of!

What do you think of the armadillo lizard? Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

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