Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.Henry David Thoreau

Do Armadillo Lizards Make Good Pets?

Do Armadillo Lizards Make Good Pets?

Do armadillo lizards make good pets? This is a question that many people are asking these days. Armadillo lizards, also known as Texas spiny lizards, are becoming more and more popular as pets. They are relatively easy to care for and they are very cute! In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about armadillo lizards. We will discuss their care requirements, their temperament, and whether or not they make good pets.

Why Do Armadillo Lizards Make Good Pets?

Armadillo lizards make ideal pets for many reasons. Perhaps the most attractive feature of armadillo lizards is their small size; they typically only reach about six inches in length when fully grown, making them very suitable for smaller homes or apartments with limited space. Armadillo lizards are also relatively easy to care for; with proper housing and diet, they will thrive in captivity. [1]

In addition to being easy to care for, armadillo lizards have a unique look that makes them particularly appealing as pets. Their armor-like scales and spiny projections give them an exotic appearance. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from grayish-brown to bright yellow or green.

The temperament of armadillo lizards is another factor that makes them desirable as pets. They are generally docile and not overly active, so they do not require a lot of attention or stimulation from their owners. Armadillo lizards are also non-aggressive, making them suitable for households with small children.

Finally, the entertainment potential of armadillo lizards should not be overlooked; they enjoy playing with toys and exploring new places, which can provide hours of entertainment for both pets and owners.

Lizards Make Good Pets

1. Easy to look after

Armadillo lizards are relatively easy to look after, and they require few special accommodations. They should be housed in an enclosure with a substrate, such as sand or soil, that can easily be kept clean. The enclosure should also provide plenty of hiding places and branches for the lizard to climb on.

In terms of diet, armadillo lizards enjoy eating insects, such as mealworms and crickets. These should be supplemented with fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet. [2]

Finally, armadillo lizards need access to ultraviolet light to help them properly absorb calcium from their food; without it, they may develop metabolic bone disease over time. A UVB light bulb placed inside the enclosure will give your pet the necessary amount of UVB exposure.

2. They don’t need a large enclosure

Due to their small size, armadillo lizards do not need an overly large enclosure. A 20-gallon tank is generally sufficient for one or two adult armadillo lizards; however, if you plan on keeping more than two of these reptiles, then a larger enclosure would be necessary. [3]

When setting up the enclosure for your armadillo lizards, make sure it is securely sealed to prevent escape and provide plenty of places for them to hide. Temperature and humidity levels inside the tank should also be closely monitored and adjusted as needed.

3. They are sociable creatures

Armadillo lizards are social creatures and enjoy the company of other armadillo lizards. If you plan on keeping more than one armadillo lizard, it is important to make sure that they are kept in a compatible group; otherwise, fighting may occur.

It is also important to ensure that your pet armadillo lizards have plenty of space, as overcrowding can lead to stress and aggression among them.

Why Don’t Armadillo Lizards Make Good Pets?

Although armadillo lizards can make good pets for the right owners, there are some drawbacks that should be considered.

First, these reptiles require fairly specialized care and diets; if not provided with the necessary accommodations and nutrition, they may become ill or stressed. They can also be somewhat skittish when first acquired, so it is important to provide them with a safe environment until they become accustomed to their new home.

Finally, like most animals, armadillo lizards will bite if disturbed or threatened; this means that extra caution must be taken when handling them, especially around children.

Why Don’t Armadillo Lizards Make Good Pets

1. They are prone to running away

Armadillo lizards are natural burrowers, which means they can easily dig their way out of an enclosure if it is not properly sealed.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that the tank or terrarium your pet armadillo lizard(s) live in is securely closed at all times. If you have an outdoor enclosure for them, be sure to check it often to ensure that they cannot escape.

2. They aren’t great for handling

Armadillo lizards are not known for enjoying being handled. Although some individual lizards may tolerate it, most prefer to be left alone and will bite if they feel threatened or cornered. [4]

For this reason, armadillo lizards should only be handled by experienced owners who know how to approach them properly and provide the necessary security. It is also important to ensure that children are supervised while handling these reptiles.

3. They bite

As mentioned above, armadillo lizards can bite if they feel threatened or cornered. It is important to handle them with care and never force them into a situation where they might feel the need to defend themselves.

Additionally, it is important to keep their nails trimmed so that accidental scratches do not occur during handling. If you do get bitten or scratched by your pet armadillo lizard, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly as soon as possible to prevent infection.

What Kind Of Care Do They Require?

Although armadillo lizards are fairly hardy reptiles, they still require a certain level of care and attention to ensure their health and well-being.

First, it is important to provide the necessary enclosure for your pet armadillo lizard(s). This should include plenty of hiding places, appropriate temperatures and humidity levels, and adequate ventilation.

Second, these reptiles require a balanced diet which includes both insects and vegetables as sources of nutrition. A few vitamins can also be added to their diet for extra nutrition if needed.

Finally, UVB lighting must be provided in order for your pet armadillo lizards to properly absorb calcium and other essential vitamins. A UVB light bulb placed inside the enclosure will help to ensure that your armadillo lizard is receiving the necessary exposure.

Proper habitat for an Armadillo Lizard

Armadillo lizards require an enclosure that is large enough to provide them with plenty of space and a variety of hiding places. The enclosure should also be kept at a constant temperature and humidity level appropriate for their species.

The substrate is another important aspect of the habitat; armadillo lizards typically prefer soil-like substrates, such as coconut coir or peat moss. Sand can also be used, but it may cause abrasions to the lizard’s skin if they rub against it too often.

Finally, natural decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and plants can create a more stimulating environment for your pet armadillo lizards. Live plants are not recommended, however, as they may be eaten by the lizards.

Proper habitat for an Armadillo Lizard

Armadillo Lizard temperature requirements

Armadillo lizards require temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A basking area should also be provided where the temperature can reach up to 120 degrees. [5], [6]

A thermostat, digital thermometer, and/or heating lamp are all necessary for maintaining these temperatures. It is important to keep an eye on the temperatures in their enclosure at all times, as this will ensure your armadillo lizard is comfortable and healthy.

Armadillo Lizard diet

Armadillo lizards require a balanced diet that includes both insects and vegetables. Their main food source should be made up of live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms, or superworms.

In addition to their insect-based diet, armadillo lizards also benefit from occasional servings of fruits and vegetables. Some good choices include broccoli, carrots, apples, bananas, and other dark leafy greens.

Armadillo Lizard lifespan & health

Armadillo lizards are generally hardy reptiles, but they can still be prone to certain health issues. It is important to regularly check for signs of illness such as skin wounds, infections, or parasites.

In general, armadillo lizards have an average lifespan of 15-20 years if provided with proper care and nutrition. However, some specimens live longer than this depending on the quality of care they receive. [7]

Armadillo Lizard Overview

Armadillo lizards make great pets for those interested in reptiles and are looking for something a bit different than the usual snakes and geckos. These active, inquisitive lizards require a certain level of care and attention to ensure their health and well-being, but with the proper setup they can make wonderful companions.

They require an appropriate habitat with adequate temperatures and humidity levels as well as UVB lighting to properly absorb calcium and other essential vitamins. A balanced diet consisting of insects and vegetables is also necessary for their health.

With regular checkups, armadillo lizards can have an average lifespan of 10-15 years if provided with proper care. While these reptiles may not be for everyone, those who are willing to put in the effort will find that armadillo lizards make rewarding and enjoyable pets.

Physical characteristics of the Armadillo Lizard

The armadillo lizard (Cordylus cataphractus) is a small and hardy reptile native to Southern Africa. It grows up to 4-6 inches in length and has a thick, armoured-like body covered in scales.

They are usually gray or brown in color with some specimens having yellowish or reddish markings along their backs. The tail of the armadillo lizard is long and thin, which helps them balance while climbing.

These lizards have short legs with sharp claws which they use for digging and burrowing underground. They also have special plates on their bellies that enable them to curl into an almost impenetrable ball when threatened.

Armadillo Lizard behavior

Armadillo lizards are generally solitary creatures, although they can be kept in groups of two or three individuals if provided with a large enough enclosure.

These reptiles are usually shy and timid by nature, but they do become more active during the day as they look for food or explore their environment. They are also very curious creatures, so it is not uncommon to see them investigating their surroundings.

In general, armadillo lizards make docile and non-aggressive pets that require minimal handling. They should only be handled when necessary and then placed back in their habitat afterwards. It is important to remember that these reptiles may feel more secure when left undisturbed in their enclosure.

Handling Armadillo Lizards

Armadillo lizards are naturally shy creatures and can become stressed if handled excessively. For this reason, it is important to only handle them when necessary and to do so gently.

When picking up an armadillo lizard, make sure to use both hands to support their body and tail. It is also a good idea to wear gloves when handling these reptiles as some species may bite if provoked or startled.

Always be sure to place the reptile back in its enclosure once you have finished handling it. Armadillo lizards should never be held for long periods of time as this can lead to stress and even injury.

Handling Armadillo Lizards


How big of a tank does an Armadillo Lizard need?

Armadillo lizards require a minimum of 20 gallons of space when kept as pets. Tanks should also be outfitted with plenty of hiding spots, rocks, and branches to provide the lizard with a place to retreat if it becomes scared or stressed.

What does an Armadillo Lizard eat?

Armadillo lizards are omnivores and require a balanced diet of insects, worms, vegetables, and fruits. Commercially available reptile diets can also be used to provide essential vitamins and minerals.

What reptile is closest to a dragon?

The bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is the reptile species most closely related to a dragon. It has a covering of scales and spines, horns on its head and tail, and even frills around its neck that give it a very dragon-like appearance.

Can an armadillo hurt you?

No, armadillo lizards are not considered dangerous to humans. While they may bite if provoked or startled, their bites are usually not strong enough to cause injury. It is important to remember that all reptiles can carry certain parasites and viruses, so it is best to always wash your hands after handling them.

Can armadillo lizards drop their tails?

Yes, armadillo lizards can drop their tails if they feel threatened. This is a natural defense mechanism that allows the lizard to escape from predators. Once dropped, the tail will not grow back and should be carefully removed from the enclosure to prevent it from causing injury or infection.

Useful Video: Armadillo Lizard, The Best Pet Lizard?


If you’re considering getting an armadillo lizard as a pet, there are some things you should know first. They require special care and a lot of attention, but if you’re up for the challenge, they can make great pets. Be sure to do your research before making any decisions, and talk to a professional if you have any questions.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo_girdled_lizard
  2. https://animalia.bio/armadillo-girdled-lizard
  3. https://www.alsipnursery.com/armadillo-jones-lizard-care
  4. https://www.reptileadvisor.com/armadillo-lizard/
  5. https://www.everythingreptiles.com/armadillo-lizard
  6. https://petkeen.com/armadillo-lizard
  7. https://petkeen.com/armadillo-lizard/