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Old 10-16-17, 05:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Does snake experience translate to lizards?

I just got my second snake (a baby jungle carpet python...first was an adult Nelson's milk snake) and I'm thinking of getting a lizard within the next few years. I'm hoping someone can tell me whether and how snake experience to lizard experience. What things will I know well enough to potentially get a more advanced lizard species, and what things do I need to start from scratch on?
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Old 10-16-17, 05:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

Two snakes can have totally different care requirements so I don't think there's anything generic you'd have to learn from scratch.

The biggest difference between the two is feeding. Lizards generally need plenty of insects often. Snakes a rodent once in a while.

What lizards are you thinking of?
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Old 10-16-17, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

Yeah, I'm probably going to wind up breeding roaches. Anyway It's really too early for me to have my mind set on one lizard, and there's too many to choose from

It honestly depends on my maintenance budget and experience level when I get the lizard, since it won't be for a while. I guess if I go for an easier lizard it'll be a gecko/beardie/ackie, but I'm down for one of the harder or larger lizards (argentine tegu, savanna monitor, caiman lizard, etc.) if I have the right resources. I was actually trying to figure out how much caiman lizards cost to feed a while back.
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Old 10-16-17, 07:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

My LPS has the most tame tegu I have ever encountered. He raised it from a tiny baby, rescue I believe, and it basically acts like a dog. Its name is Ink. I think he's a black and white tegu. Or at least he looks like the one that is labeled that on his Facebook.
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Old 10-16-17, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

The basic concepts are pretty much the same, but the specifics can be quite different.
Lizards can be more interactive. Yesterday was feeding day for the whole troop, and I had a beardie scratching on the glass, an eastern water dragon waiting to bite my fingers if I didn't get the food in there quick enough, and an ackie and panoptes watching and waiting intently. Only the Spencers monitor and the flavi were chilled about it, lol.
Like snakes, lizards can have different heating and housing requirements too.
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Old 10-17-17, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

Honestly understanding the format of most reptile care information is important. Most reptile advice comes from people who are reptile people first and writers second. Otherwise, setting up thermostats, heating elements, etc is good to know how to do.

I think that the majority of success with reptiles stems from being knowledgeable about how to purchase one. Starting off with a healthy reptile is half the battle in terms of 1st year surviveability.

Lizards just eat a lot more in my experience, they are also more affected by environmental factors.

Snakes in my opinion have a lot more in common with each other. You can go down the list of 10 most popular pet snakes and really only end up with 2 or 3 truly different types of setups.

1. Ball Python
2. Corn Snake
3. King Snake
4. Boa Constrictor
5. Hognose
6. Milk Snake
7. Rosy Boa
8. Kenyan Sand Boa
9. Carpet Python
10. Burmese Python

1, 4, 9, 10 all more or less have the same parameters if you ignore cage size.

2, 3, 5, 6 pretty much the same parameters if you ignore cage size.

7, 8 though some would argue they could be kept in the same way as the 2nd group of colubrids and I'd argue every one of these snakes can be kept around the same way in terms of temp and humidity as well.

When it comes to lizards, lets just do the top 5.

1. Leopard Gecko
2. Bearded Dragon
3. Green Anole
4. Blue Tongue Skink
5. Veiled Chameleon

Only two of these have even remotely similar requirements, the Chameleon and the Anole. Much more dietary variation, 3 of them need special lights, 2 can be kept with basically 0 lights. That's just 5 popular easy species to keep, if we added 5 more they just keep getting more and more diverse. Heck adding just 1 more that I just thought of, Crested Gecko, boom even more dietary variety and another species that doesn't need lights.


So to me, the biggest difference between snakes and lizards is just that snakes are universally simpler to care for. Unless your working with WC imports of a species that's new to the hobby, if you've kept one snake you've basically kept them all to an extent. With lizards, overall many more species are still WC (not the top species however except the anoles), they have much more variety of care requirements.

I hope I was able to provide some insight without getting too wordy. Good luck with your lizard endeavor.
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Old 10-18-17, 11:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Does snake experience translate to lizards?

Lizards are a lot more care and work in my experience. They poop more, need fed more, special lighting (in most cases), dietary supplements, and require daily maintenance. Where as with my snakes, I'd be comfortable going away for a week and return to healthy snakes. Also, as jjhill pointed out, setups vary widely. The only experience that translates over to lizards is setting up the enclosure itself. I'd recommend starting off small and seeing how you enjoy caring for a lizard/gecko before going after something larger.
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Last edited by regi375; 10-18-17 at 11:38 PM.. Reason: Autocorrect doesn't understand me
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