Tegus originate from South America ranging from Columbia to Argentina, They are robust large lizards that can become very tame and affectionate. The males tend to be larger than the females developing large jowls as they get older.The Argentinean Black and White Tegu is the Tegu which is most commonly seen for sale and is the most placid of all the Tegus. There are many other Tegus such as the Columbian black and white also red and gold Tegus.
Adult Tegus should be housed in no less than a 6ft x 3ft x 3ft vivarium, on a deep Orchid bark substrate as they like to dig with some climbing branches and plenty of hiding areas, such as the Zoo Med Habba Huts. They should be provided with a large sturdy water bowl which can not be tipped over.
Temperatures of 77F - 90F with basking areas of 100F - 120F. Ensure there is hiding areas near to the basking sites as Tegus usually like to bask near to their hides. UVB light is also essential and must be provided for 10 - 12 hours per day.
Tegus can tolerate a slight humidity but are best kept in a dry environment.
Baby Tegus will predominately feed on crickets, hoppers, mealworms, Wax worms, fruits, Occasional pinkie mice. But adult Tegus will still enjoy live foods such as crickets and hoppers will feed on rats, fruits, eggs, snails and morios. It is very important to not overfeed your Tegu as they can become obese which in turn will affect their health. When feeding our Tegus when they have had a rat or a rather large meal for their dinner we usually then give them two days off food to enable them to digest the previous meal.
Try to provide your Tegu with plenty of exercise by allowing them out of their enclosure for a supervised roam around, If you take your Tegus outdoors e.g. into your garden then we suggest with great supervision as even though they look slow they can be very quick when they want to be.
Tegus should be respected and handled gently, babies may open their mouths and hiss if cornered and feel threatened, but with perseverance they soon come round to being handled.If at first you are a bit wary of handling your Tegus try with a thick pair of gloves, as Tegus can have a nasty bite.
Always support under the front legs and the base of the tail especially with the adults.
Tegus if they loose their tails can re grow them but they don't always look the same as before and tail loss should most definitely be avoided. Always wash your hands before handling your Tegu as they are quite inquisitive creatures and with a flick of their tongue (which send particles to their jacobson's organ)can pick up the taste of any foods or other pets which in turn could end up with a nip.
As long as care is taken when handling you and your Tegu should enjoy an affectionate relationship.
Tegus as all Reptiles shed their skin, they shed in pieces but some times can have a problem on their tails and toes, Bad sheds are usually a sign of poor diet and this should be looked at and changed to give more variety.
If your Tegus does have old skin left on their tail or toes then The Tegus Should be bathed to loosen the skin as keeping old shed on can restrict the blood flow and cause loss of a toe or the tip of their tail.
Shedding aids are available to add to your Tegus bath such as Zoo Med Repti Shedding Aid.
A great way to begin your Tegu keeping hobby is to purchase one of our complete Triple 8 Reptiles.