Can't believe we got an Argentine Tegu

Yesterday we picked up an Argentine black and white Tegu. I couldn’t believe it we have been contemplating about getting a blue tongue skink the store had a Marauke in which my wife goes “do you want to get it?” I didn’t quite connect to this animal as I was looking at Northerns and the Marauke BTS didn’t capture my heart. As we continued looking I saw the sign for the b&w tegu. My wife looked at me and I looked at her we discussed it and we’ll when the clerk got the little one out I connected hard core. We named the Tegu Damascus after a metal and we gathered his items over the following couple of days. As the firest couple days went by we were dumbfounded going “I can’t believe we just bought a tegu”. We proceeded to refresh the research we did prior so we could care for the baby correctly. That being said I still have a question or two:

  1. I have been holding Damascus about 4x a day for 20 min. I plan to increase this time as we are going for good positive interactions. My wife thinks this is too much, but everywhere I look people are stating Handle handle handle to get a well rounded/socialized animal.
  2. We were told by a different store not to get a mister even though humidity is suppose to be 70% we were going to get a herpastat to control the amount that is dispersed.
  3. I am by no means new to lizards as I had a beardie when I was younger and grew up catching/handling wild lizards. I do however understand I have much to learn so if there is advice I am always happy to hear it.

Lastly his diet currently is:
Blue horn worms
Snails in a can captive bred
Mush sample that he was fed at the store
Super worms (I’m getting him off of these as soon as possible)

We have a UVB light and his basking spot is set at 115degrees. I wet his substrate and spray down the enclosure as needed (just do not think it’s enough). His substrate is about 6inches deep and it’s Reptisoil from zoomed. We also got a supplement that was recommended from Rose city reptiles on one of their Vids on YouTube:)


My tegu loves black berries, grapes, banana, silver side fish (frozen thawed) high end canned dog food, dubea roaches, collard greens, the occasional frozen thawed mouse fuzzy… I add calcium powder with vitamin D to every feeding and reptical vitamins twice a week. She has a heated humidity box and a hot spot set at 105 degrees. Plus a UVB basking light. The amount of interaction depends on the tegu. If you are grabbing your little guy and scaring him, it’s too much interaction, if he is running into your hand and coming out voluntarily it isn’t


Awe what a lovely baby^^

The hide is an awesome idea I think we will probably as that :). Yeah I’m not chasing him I’m coaxing him as I was told to come from an angle and to not grav him from the top. I also hold him until he calms down in which after he does so I let him go :slight_smile: as you stated I don’t want to terrify him ^^ I added my shirt in the enclosure as well to hopefully help get him use to my scent it was awesome he actually tried hiding in it so I think that’s good since I wore it for the day. I will keep everything updated. Thank you so much on the input :slight_smile:

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Tong feeding helps a lot, so does target training. Tonks will follow her target just about anywhere, she will even jump into the air to grab her target. She is about 4 ft and free roams in my reptile room. Her humidity box is a good sized bin filled with damp cocofiber, it has a heat mat. She has a basking spot made from slate tile, it stays around 105 from the heat mat and has a large UVB too.your little dude will eventually need min 4 ft by 6ft enclosure if you don’t have a place to let him free roam.

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FT mice! S/He will love ‘em!

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Here is a video about their care by Clint’s reptiles;

Make sure you let them settle in for a couple weeks before handling them at all. Also, they are omnivores and need more than just bugs. Fresh fruit/veggies are good for them. You may wanna make sure it is 100% an Argentine B/W tegu as well, because many times from pet stores they will have blue tegus listed as B/W tegus. And they are hard to tell apart.

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Yes target training would be awesome ^^ as for enclosure when he grows out of this one we will put him in an 8x4x4ft enclosure :slight_smile: we were having issues getting his basking spot to temp so we went out and bought a ceramic bulb to go along with his uvb reptisun bulb since the reprising wasn’t getting past 90f.

I do watch Clint’s vids it was one of many refs in consideration prior to bringing the little one home. That being said we are trying to give him fruits we put mangos in with him along with some super worms the super worms kind of disappeared as he dug by his dish giving them enough of a ‘mountain’ to escape he might have eaten them though. I did hear from multiple sources to handle from the get go as these animals grow fast it’s more about respectful handling/gaining trust vs just leaving them alone. That being said it’s being done in increments and we are adjusting the enclosure as needed:) I really appreciate the input though. Right now we are just trying to get him to eat our basking temps were off but we fixed that today finally.

Just picked up sphagnamoss and a herpstat 2 spiderweb. We plan to get a mister automated to plug in for controlled humidity when the little one gets the full sized enclosure. That being said we picked up some sardines and precooked shrimp ^^ we grabbed blackberries, strawberries, bell pepper,and carrots. Today Damascus ate 5 Dubai roaches and massacred the blue horn worms which was awesome :sunglasses:. We have been handling him periodically and slowly but surely he is getting more and more comfortable with our presence.

That being said we are fixing things as we see them including insulation issues so the top now has foil to help the enclosure reach critical temperatures ^^

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It’s been about a year now, how is the little guy doing? How much has he grown? I hope he’s doing well for you guys!


A Tegu breeder says this is wrong and you must handle them immediately. Are you a tegu breeder? This guy produces decent socialized babies too regularly.

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No matter what the reptile is, I always recommend letting the animal settle in and not stressing them. This also allows you do look for illnesses and not transfer anything to your other animals immediately. A week or two isn’t going to be the worst to wait to pick them up since you get to interact with them and build trust when feeding. They aren’t going to get giant or mean in a week or two. In the video he said it is his opinion that you don’t need to wait, in my opinion I would rather not make the baby panic and freak out the day I get it.

well my baby tegu (second hand, from a sketchy person on craigslist) is feisty and I started handing him from day one, and he still tries to bite me once in a while at first, but then I tell him ‘no bite’ and he stops, they are so smart! They grow so fast and eat so well, I wish those were ball traits!

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