Zebra-Tailed Lizard Care Sheet

Updated on August 1, 2019
crazyhorsesghost profile image

Thomas is a reptile enthusiast who has cared for several varieties of lizards.

The Zebra Tailed Lizard Makes A Great Pet But Needs A Large Enclosure To Be Healthy And Happy
The Zebra Tailed Lizard Makes A Great Pet But Needs A Large Enclosure To Be Healthy And Happy

The Zebra Tailed Lizard is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. I love to watch these beautiful lizards run. I see this lizard quite often in the pet trade, and unfortunately, they are often kept in small aquariums and enclosures. The smallest enclosure you should keep this lizard in is a 55-gallon aquarium with a wire top with safety latches to keep the lizard in the enclosure. In the wild, these lizards are known as the fastest in the dessert. Obviously, they don't get much exercise when kept in a very small container or enclosure.

General Information and Care of Zebra-Tailed Lizards

Your Zebra Tailed Lizard will be 7 - 9 inches in total length when grown and the lizard has a distinct black and white banded tail and this is where the lizard got its name. It will have pale orange or yellow markings around its mouth. It will have an orange or yellow spot in the center.


Male Zebra Tailed Lizards have a pair of black blotches on the side and it extends to blue patches on the belly. Females don't have blue patches and the black bars are either very faint or not there at all.


These lizards are very active and alert in all but the hottest weather. During the hottest parts of the day, these lizards appear to do a dance. Standing first on two legs and then switching to the other two legs the lizard appears to be dancing. You will also catch this lizard running for short distances on its hind legs.


In the lizards' native habitat where there are patches of creosote scrub is where you will find the highest concentrations of these lizards. You will find that this lizard will bury into fine sand at night for warmth and it will hide in the shade of bushes in the day time.


In its native habitat, the female zebra tail lizards lay 2–8 eggs in the summer and the eggs will hatch sometime from July through November. Female zebra tail lizards will often lay several clutches of eggs throughout the summer especially if they are healthy and well-fed.


The lizard in the wild eats a variety of insects, moths, bees, ants, and spiders. In captivity, you can feed the lizard on crickets, mealworms, and red worms. About once a month you should sprinkle calcium powder on the prey you are feeding to your lizard or lizards. In the wild, the lizard also feeds on flowers and flower bulbs. You can occasionally offer your lizard a small piece of apple or other fruit. But make it only a small piece. You can also from time to time offer a few leaves of washed spinach.


In the wild, the lizard will not often have access to water and usually drinks a few drops of dew or rain from leaves but I like to offer the lizard a small pond of water that I keep clean by running the water out through a filter and then back into the pond and I have some very happy zebra tailed lizards. I see them quite often in the water so I know they like it. Don't make the pond so deep that the lizards can't get out of it and you should put a rock in the center of the small pond for the lizard to climb out on.


In the wild, the zebra tailed lizard lives in the desert so you should try to replicate its native habitat as near as possible. I do this but I do add branches for the lizard to climb on and a small pond of water for the lizard to enjoy and I have some very happy zebra tailed lizards.


In the wild, the lizard's body colors will adapt to its surroundings over time and if you keep zebra tailed lizards long term in a container or large enclosure you will see the same thing going on with your lizards.

Tail Regeneration

One thing you should be aware of is that in the wild, it is the tail of the zebra-tailed lizard that it waves around to distract predators. If a predator grabs the zebra-tailed lizard by the tail, the tail will break off and the lizard will escape. The lizard's tail will grow back. In the wild, I have even seen these lizards with two tails. One long and one short and this lizard once lost part of its original tail.


You should use a good broad-spectrum light in your lizard's enclosure and the lights made and sold by Durtest like their vita light is a good light to use in your lizard enclosure. Fix any light inside your lizard's enclosure so that the lizard can not touch it. You should know that over time the light will stop producing UVB light so replace the bulb every six months.

I hope I've given you information that will help you with your zebra tailed lizard and I hope if you have any comments, questions, or tips that you will post them below. Thanks for reading.

Please Don't Turn Non-Native Snakes Or Lizards Loose

This lizard has escaped from the pet trade in Florida and it is found in several locations where it appears to be breeding and reproducing. Many species of non-native snakes, lizards, and fish have made it from the pet trade to the wilds of Florida. The pythons in south Florida are destroying the native wildlife in the Everglades and are even competing with the alligators for food sources. Recent claims have been made that the pythons are preying on alligators. So please, if you have a pet lizard or snake don't release it. It is now believed that the pythons may spread all over the southeastern United States. If you have a pet snake or lizard turn it over to the authorities if you can't keep it.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My Zebra Tailed lizzard gas stopped eating and I'm not sure but don't think he going to be shedding either. What can I do. Its been about a week. His environment is correct. I feed him meal worms and wax worms. He has a small pool. Hbv lighting....is he sick?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)