Collared Gecko

Western New York Herpetological Society 

www.wnyherp.org © 2001 - 2002 by Western New York Herpetological Society 

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed daily. It is recommend that a concerted effort be made to maintain up-to-date knowledge of the animals of interest. 

Common Name: Collared Lizard 

Latin name:  Crotaphytus spp.

Native to: Collared lizards can be found from southern California north to Nevada, Utah and parts of Idaho, east to Kansas, southern Missouri and Arkansas, and south to Mexico. 

Size: Collared lizards generally range in size from 10 to 13 inches long though some individuals can reach up to 15 inches. 

General appearance: Male Collared lizards tend to be larger, more robust, and more colorful than female Collared lizards. Collareds can be brown, blue, green, or yellow, backed with white dots. Females are usually tan or gray in color, but will often have orange spots or bars from the neck to the hind limbs when gravid. In most species the males and females both have two black stripes around the neck which is what gives collared lizards their name. The Eastern Collared lizard (C. collaris) is the one most commonly found in captivity.

Housing requirements: 

Enclosure: Collared lizards like to roam, so suitably sized enclosures like a 30-gallon or larger sized enclosure should be provided. If more than one Collared lizard will be kept together, be sure there is only one male in the group. 

Temperature: Collared lizards come from hot arid regions and need to be kept warm. The daytime temperature gradient should be 70° F in cool end of the enclosure, and 90° F in the warm end of the enclosure. A basking spot of 100° F to 110° F should also be provided. Nighttime temperatures should not fall below 65° F. 

Heat/Light: Collared lizards require UVB light which can be provided with fluorescent tubes or mercury vapor bulbs. Mercury vapor bulbs are preferred over fluorescent bulbs for this species because of their superior UVB output. Heat can be provided by using under tank heaters (UTH) and incandescent bulbs. Temperatures should be checked with a thermometer. 

Substrate: Sand or a sand/gravel mix can be used as a substrate. When choosing the type of sand avoid artificial silicate and select either calci-sand or natural play sand. 

Environment: Collared lizards like to bask. Rocks should be supplied in basking areas to allow the Collareds to properly bask. Hide areas should also be provided in the cool end of the enclosure. Water should offered at least twice a week. 

Diet: Collared lizards are insectivorous. They do very well on a diet of appropriately sized crickets, but can also be fed a variety of other insects like mealworms, waxworms and others. Larger specimens can occasionally be offered pinkie or small mice as well.

Maintenance: The enclosure should be spot cleaned daily and thoroughly cleaned monthly. We also recommend that the handler thoroughly wash their hands after handling the Collared lizards or any of their cage accessories.

Other references or recommended reading: 

Wells, William. The Genus Crotaphytus. Available On-Line: http://www.reptileallsorts.com/colliz-cs.htm. Retrieved Mar. 2008. 

Patterson, Scott and Blanchard, Don. Oct. 1998. CoIlared Lizards (genus Crotaphytus): A (Brief) Care Sheet. Available On-Line: http://webspinners.com/coloherp/careshts/lizards/collaredliz.php 

Kaplan, Melissa. Apr. 2007. Collared Lizards. Available On-Line: http://www.anapsid.org/collared.html


Western New York Herpetological Society 

www.wnyherp.org © 2001 - 2002 by Western New York Herpetological Society 

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed daily. It is recommend that a concerted effort be made to maintain up-to-date knowledge of the animals of interest.