About Us
Contact Us



Sign up today for our fortnightly FREE "Keeping Reptiles" Newsletter.

  • Jam-packed with ideas and tips
  • Stories and information on keeping reptiles.
  • Ideas for cages
  • Keep informed and learn about reptile keeping.
  • Web-sites and places of interest.

Sign up now and I'll send you a bonus FREE gift of "15 Top Snake Keeping Tips"
(Value of $16.95)

First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail Address:



" all I can say is "WOW and Thank You" . they will make my cage making a much easier and a more fun task. Once again thank you for your web site and you prompt support"
Burt Tejada

I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Care Sheet For The Genus Uromastyx


collared lizard
Collared Lizard, Zion National Park, Utah
Click to enlarge

Collared lizards of the genus Crotaphytus are among the most colorful lizards in North America. They get their name from the pair of black collars that circle the back of the neck. All of the genus Crotaphytus have these collars, though they vary in size and shape between the different species. Collared lizards are characterized by a large head, skinny neck, and a large body with a long skinny tail.

Adult Collared lizards typically range from 10 to 13 inches [25-33 cm] long. However, some individuals can reach 15 inches [38 cm]. The Eastern Collared lizard (C. collaris) is the one most common in captivity.

Collared lizards are found in rocky arid to semi-arid terrains, and are usually seen perched on a boulder, sunning themselves. They range from the deserts of Southern California north through Nevada and Utah and into Idaho, east through Kansas and southern Missouri and into Arkansas, and south well into Mexico


Collared lizards make excellent captives as long as their basic requirements are met. These lizards are very active and you can not give them enough room.


Adult lizards should be kept in at least a forty gallon aquarium.

These lizards are very territorial, no more than one male and two females should be kept together. Sand makes an excellent substrate. Collared lizards are saxicolous so rocks piles make natural basking sites.

If more than one lizard is to be caged together, make several basking sites. Be careful that the rocks can not come down on the lizards when they dig around them. Like most lizards, collared lizards require ultraviolet light.


Use a full-spectrum fluorescent bulb along with a incandescent bulb above the basking site. For healthy and colorful lizards, natural sunlight is a must.


Collared lizards like it hot. Their basking site should be between 100 and 105 degrees. The rest of their cage should be in the high 80's to 90's during the day.

A hide box at the cool end, which should remain at room temperature (70-75°F, or 21-24°C), should also be provided.


Collared lizards eat a lot and can be fed daily. Crickets are the most convenient food source available. It is best to feed them a variety of insects such as grasshoppers, Jumbo mealworms (Zoophoba), and moths.. It is always fun to watch them catch flying insects in midair. Some individuals will also eat lizards and pinkies.

Vitamins and calcium supplement should be added to food items on a regular basis.

Some individuals will drink from a water bowl, but most will only drink from water droplets or lap water from a syringe or eye-dropper. Mist the rocks and glass in their enclosure to stimulate drinking every few days. Water should be offered at least twice a week. Collared lizards usually won't recognize water offered in a dish.


Regular handling of your lizard will ensure they are used to being handled and will likely to remain calm and less stressed by handling.


Captive bred lizards do excellent as captives. Wild caught lizards don't always do as well. Many die from the stress of being taken from their natural environment. They are usually loaded ticks, chiggers, nematodes, and other parasites. Wild caught lizards will often rub their nose raw trying to escape. If the lizard doesn't adapt, it will go off feed until it is too weak to move. It will lose weight and wither away over a period of several weeks. Once this has started, it is almost impossible to turn them around.


Collared lizards are fairly easy to breed in captivity. They must hibernate at least a month and can be left in this state for several months. Two weeks before hibernation, stop feeding them so their stomachs will be empty. Turn off the heat sources and slowly cool the lizards down to between 40 to 55 degrees. If your room doesn't stay cool enough to induce hibernation, you can hibernate them in the refrigerator. Use a thermometer to regulate the temperature. Because the refrigerator will dehydrate the lizards, put them in plastic shoe boxes with damp sand as a substrate. Keep a small bowl of water in with them. Check them every few days and mist the sand down as it dries.

After hibernation, slowly warm the lizards up by keeping them at room temperature for a day or so, then you can turn up the heat. Start feeding the lizards insects dusted with calcium. The females will especially need it for strong egg development. Within a few weeks the female lizards will develop their breeding coloration.

After the lizards have mated, the female will start to show bulges near its abdomen. At this time, keep a moist spot in the cage and the female will usually lay the eggs in this spot. When she is ready to lay the eggs, she will begin digging. Check her daily, because she will appear skinny after she has deposited the eggs. The eggs must be removed from the cage. Keep them right side up and place them in an incubator. An incubator can be made from a plastic shoe box with a hole, the size of a quarter, cut in the top for air circulation. Fill the shoe box with about three inches of vermiculite and keep the vermiculite moist but not wet. Put the shoe box in a place were the temperature wont drop below the high 70's and won't rise above the low 90's. Temperature fluctuations will insure that the hatchlings will be of both sexes.

As long as the eggs continue to grow they should be fine, even if they turn an off white to brown. In about 40 to 60 days the eggs should be ready to hatch. It take several hours to more than a day for the hatchling to break free from their eggs. Their umbilical cords will remain attached for several days. Hatchling lizards need natural sunlight in order to develop properly. Without it, they will likely perish. They can be fed week old crickets, but they will eat anything they can get their mouths around. Collared lizards grow very fast and within a matter of weeks they can be fed adult crickets.


As when handling any reptile, wash your hands afterwards.

Cold Blooded News, Vol.25, No.10, October 1998
The Genus Crotaphytus By William Wells


Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.