Small display lizards

I’m looking for a small lizard that can be cohabbed, is a good display animal, would do well in a live planted 36L x 18D x 36H enclosure and is available captive bred. It does not have to be handleable, it just has to be good for display. I also do not want a gecko or a skink, as I already have plans to keep emerald tree skinks and eurydactylodes geckos.

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Not much I can think of for that size of tank outside of small geckos…anything else I can think of needs more room.

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Could it be possible that your confusing it with cm, because in inches that’s a quite large tank.

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In cm, that would be 90 x 45 x 90

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I am in the U.S. and am aware it is in inches. It might seem like a large enclosure, but when we are talking about arboreal display lizards (that aren’t geckos) that you want to house together it is still smaller. Any of the ones I can think of, like anoles need screen enclosures as well so planting it wouldn’t work (99% of the time they are wild caught too). You have to factor in that these lizards are going to be pretty active since most will be diurnal, and not nocturnal like geckos. An enclosure that size can’t even house Ackie monitors. Just because a lizard is small doesn’t mean it can be cohabed in a smaller enclosure. Only geckos can really have that done since they are generally a lot less active.

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Gotcha. The cohabbing would be a plus, but not a requirement. I’ll edit my post to reflect that.

nevermind, for some reason, the edit post option isn’t coming up.

Anoles? They’re cool to watch :blush:


Anoles need kept like chameleons with screen enclosures and are rarely captive bred.

I believe you have 3 days to edit your post? After that you no longer have the option to.

No they don’t?
They can be kept in glass enclosures as can chameleons.
We ourselves had our chameleons in Exo terras, as does our friend. And when we had an anole he was again in an Exo.
They don’t need to be kept in mesh/screen enclosures.

And I’m uk where they’re available a lot so assumed op was also able to get them with ease :blush:

Oh, ok. Got it.

They are best kept in screen enclosures due to the amount of air flow they need. I have been told by many that not having screen enclosures risks health issues. That is what the many care sheets I have read have said too. Here in the US they are usually wild caught out of Florida.

Maybe it’s different where you live.
But here in the uk I know no one who use screen enclosures anymore. Everyone uses glass, all bioactive with lots of plants and all.
All chameleons ourselves or friends have owned have had glass enclosure with mesh tops (exos or other). Our male was in a 60x45x90, And our female was in a 60x45x60.
They are perfectly fine kept in these, no health issues at all. And lived their best long lives. (Friends are still alive), we lost our boy a few months ago bless him and our female last year.
And if and when we get chameleons again (Yemen most likely) it will have a very large glass bio enclosure also.

Maybe it’s too hot where you live? :sweat_smile:

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After reading up on it I believe the use of screen enclosures does depend on the weather, but also air quality in the region. Screen enclosures are the most forgiving for beginners with the species as well and therefore recommend as starter enclosures throughout. Experienced keepers can get away with glass enclosures in some regions due to knowing how to manage the heat, humidity, not letting things go stagnant (stagnant air means stagnant heat and a way to bake your chameleon or anoles) etc. It is a safer less risk involved choice overall.

Been breeding chameleons 30 years in the US, and have kept and bred anoles too. The screen enclosure thing is one of those things that gets passed around and sounds reasonable but isn’t really true. The hobby is full of those kinds of things. Someone thinks something is a good idea and suddenly they decide it is a fact. Noobs with no experience to prove or disprove the idea hear the “fact” from someone they trust (who has done the same and only ever followed the “fact” without testing its validity) and spread it around. If you have to read up on it, probably shouldn’t form a strong opinion about it yet…


I will echo that chams and anoles are able to be kept in tank so long as you observe and provide the conditions necessary for them. Exo-style tanks are good for that because they have a pseudo-European venting style to them that helps prevent stagnation of air within the enclosure.

That tid-bit out of the way…


Take a look at Lacerta and Elgaria. Some of them get kind of sizable but some stay smaller and might fit the bill

Reminder to everyone that the cohabbing is NOT a requirement. I can no longer edit my post, but I will equally consider lizards that can NOT be cohabbed.

I keep a pair of captive bred Gastropholis prasina in a 36"x18"x36" planted vivarium. I use pothos and creeping ficus for plants and it has done well. I use a custom partial glass / screen top. They have done well in the setup and are entertaining to watch.

I have been considering Gastropholis prasina. What’s their basic care like? You don’t have to respond with a whole care guide, I can research separately, just what are some basic care facts?