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Desert Horned Toad Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
A.K.A. Desert Horned Lizard
Desert Horned Toad Lizards are brown to rust-colored lizards with spiny protrusions along their bodies. They can grow up to 3-5 inches long as adults. These lizards can live up to 4-8 years if taken care of properly. These lizards are not recommended for beginners because they can be difficult to care for.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to the deserts of Western North America. They do well with sand, crushed walnut shells, or anything they can burrow into as a substrate. Be sure to put enough rocks and wood in the tank for your lizard to hide in.One adult can be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating.A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 76-88º F during the day and slightly cooler nighttime temperatures. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.In addition to UV light, these lizards need a hotter basking area of about 95º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light for this. Heat rocks are not recommended as they can burn your animal.Your tank should have a small, shallow bowl of water that is cleaned daily. This is for your lizard to drink from as well as wade in.
Desert Horned Toad Lizards are mainly insectivorous. They will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. Ants are a favorite of this species. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your lizard time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.