Emerald Swift (Sceloporus malachiticus)
Emerald Swifts are small, stocky lizards with pointy overlapping scales. Males are bluish-green with bright blue undersides while females are grayish with brown spots. They will grow up to 6-8 inches long. These lizards can live up to 10 years if taken care of properly. They are a good lizard for beginner reptile owners, as they are hardy and fairly docile.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to Central America through Mexico.
These lizards do well with sand or sand/gravel mix as a substrate. Be sure to put enough plants, rocks, and wood in the tank for your lizard to hide in and climb on.
One adult Emerald Swift needs a 15-20 gallon tank and are best kept solitary. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating.
A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 75-84º F during the day with a slight drop at night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. A small heat pad is recommended for basking.
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. Some lizards won’t drink from a bowl. In this case some sort of dropper is recommended.
Emeral Swifts will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. 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.