Thinking of a tegu.

Discussion in 'Monitors & Tegus' started by JoseOnAStick, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. JoseOnAStick

    JoseOnAStick New Member

    So, I've been weighing in on getting a monitor again. Roommate has her bearded dragon, 2 tortoises and spiny softshell. I miss my Nile, but don't want/can't trust that kind of animal around someone as airheadded as she is at times. I've done my research and tegus (especially the Columbian variety - I understand they are the "northern clade") tend to be much more handlable and able to keep well-behaved around humans than monitors are (my Nile was a monster of sorts). I'm aware that they are not at all related to monitors, and that they have a northern clade (Columbian varieties) and a southern clade (Argentine varieties), and that these have subtle physiological differences. I have the adult setup all ready to go - room set aside with UVB and spotlights, sealed up and ready to fill the floor with nice deep substrate and a small pool, along with some large rocks and logs propped up for laying on to bask. This one I am considering is only a foot long, so I have a good size tank set up for its next couple of months as I understand it should hit about 3 feet by 6 months of age - thus having the room set up already. My only concern is diet. I hear from one side that they are straight carnivorous. Then, I read another side of it pretty much stating this in a nutshell, consistently - Black and White Tegu.pdf

    Anyone have enough experience to say which is more accurate?
  2. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Everything I have read has stated that they should have a variety of fruit in the diet. I don't know an exact percentage of the diet that it should be, but I do know they are not solely carnivorous. A Colombian would be an awesome choice; that is my dream lizard, actually. They are supposed to be very intelligent and puppy dog tame, although can be food aggressive, so it's best to feed them outside of their cage.
  3. JoshSnakeman

    JoshSnakeman New Member

    Sounds cool. If you want a monitor that is somewhat safe around air-headed people, try an Ackie, Savannah or Storr's, or an Asian water monitor. All can get quite tame (Storr's maybe a bit skittish). But I agree, Tegu is a bit of a better choice if you want to feel safer around other people. Just be careful, a big tegu's bite is extremely painful.
  4. JoseOnAStick

    JoseOnAStick New Member

    I think I'd rather the tegu. Savannah just doesn't suit my fancy, nor would I trust one around her. Considered either an Ackie or a Black-headded (v. tristis or v. tristis tristis), but I really don't feel like the more specialized diet IF the tegu really is that more versatile. Plus, I can't find anything on whether their organs can calcify, so is this an indication that they don't if fed too much calcium as the monitors would? As I said the diet is the only issue I'm worried about getting right, and if it's really that versatile, then I can feed it smaller amounts throughout the day and have it a better metabolic setup as such instead of it wasting half the day digesting after a large meal in the morning.

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