Vietnamese Calotes (Calotes calotes)
A.K.A. Green Forest Lizard
Vietnamese Calotes are medium-sized, bright green lizards with white markings and dorsal spikes. The males are larger, have dorsal crests, and their heads may become red or blue when excited. Unlike most lizards, they do not lose their tails. They can also move their eyes in different directions like chameleons. They can grow up to 16-20 inches from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail. These lizards can live up to 10 years if taken care of properly.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to Southeast Asia.
These lizards do well with a substrate of sand, sand/gravel mix, reptile bark, or reptile carpet. Add plenty of plants, wood, and rocks to the tank for them to climb and hide in.
A single Vietnamese Calotes will do well in a 30-40 gallon tank. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating.
A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 80-88º F during the day and nighttime temperatures around 70-80º F. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. A heat pad is also recommended for basking.
Your tank should have a good-sized bowl of water that is cleaned daily. This is for your lizard to drink from as well as wade in. These lizards enjoy swimming and soaking. Some lizards won’t drink from a bowl. In this case some sort of dropper is recommended. Misting the tank with a spray bottle every 2 or 3 days is also recommended.
Vietnamese Calotes are mainly insectivorous. They will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. Larger specimens will also eat pinkie mice. You can supplement their diet with melon, dark leafy greens, and/or berries. 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.