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Jeweled Lacerta Care Sheet
Lacerta lepida
 
 

The attractive jeweled lacerta (Lacerta lepida) attains sizes of up to 2 feet long. Also called an eyed lacerta, its green body color is accentuated with blue dots along the lizardís sides. An adult male jeweled lacerta can weigh well over 100 grams. Males are larger than females (weighing an average of 120-plus grams and females weighing from 50 to 100 grams), have a more powerful jaw structure, a larger tail base and more prominent femoral pores.

 

Found in Portugal, Spain, southern France and Italy, jeweled lacertas live in a variety of habitats, including sunny dry areas, shady regions and near streams. According to Bert Langerwerf, the limiting factor as to where jeweled lacertas are found is not the low temperatures of winter but rather the length of summer. This is due to their long egg-incubation period.

 
Ideal Cage Qualities - The hatchling jeweled lacertas are kept in small groups of three or four in a low, 20-gallon terrarium. Cage substrate is a coconut coir and sand mixture. We provide an incandescent light in a hood on one end and a UVB fluorescent fixture on the other end. These animals do not need to be kept as hot as desert lizards. High temperatures in the mid-90s (degrees Fahrenheit) are adequate. Depending on the season, our ambient temperature can range between 60 to 80 degrees. Several options for cover are provided throughout the cage, allowing the animals to achieve different temperatures over the course of the day and still remain hidden.
 
Larger jeweled lacertas are maintained in either the small or the medium 40 gallon Breeder display cage. The cage is set up in a similar fashion to the neonate cage, only on a larger basis. A moist spot in the cage is a must to prevent shedding problems.
 
Thermal Requirements - Jeweled lacertas spend a lot of time basking in the sun or under an basking light. They need these warm temperatures for proper digestion, growth and other metabolic processes. Because of this need, it is important to provide your pet with proper light and heat exposure. In an indoor enclosure, that translates to using an basking light that allows the lizard to heat its body up into the range of 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Equally important is to allow the lizards to escape temperatures that are too hot. This is accomplished by using a large cage; heat one side of the cage with the light bulb and allow the other side of the cage to remain cool. Temperature in the cool end should be between 78 and 83 degrees.
 
Indoor jeweled lacertas must also be maintained with a UVB light source, 5.0 percent UVB or a mercury vapor bulb. The advantage to using a Zoo Med Powersun mercury vapor bulb is that these bulbs provide both heat and UVB wavelengths of light.
 
Feed Well - Feed daily.Jeweled lacertas have a wide range of food items that they greedily accept in captivity. Our group has fed on crickets, super mealworms, silkworms, hornworms, several cockroach species and even the occasional fruit and even yogurt. The jeweled lacertas become so eager to feed that they will often run into the feeding cup to grab crickets or mealworms.Have a large clean water bowl available at all times.
 
Along with using our UVB bulbs, jeweled lacertas we will supplement the crickets and mealworms with a vitamin and mineral supplement containing calcium and vitamin D3 at every feeding. This is to ensure that the animals do not develop nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (formerly metabolic bone disease).
 
With their bright coloration and complex habits, jeweled lacertas make fascinating pets. Especially if maintained indoors, these animals can quickly become tame, readily accepting food items from their keeperís hands. Jeweled lacertas truly are a beautiful addition to any terrarium.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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