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3 Care Tips for Legless Lizards

Learn three tips for how to take care of a legless lizard from reptile and amphibian expert Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


Certainly a high-end animal to keep as a pet in captivity is a legless lizard. This is a strange reptile if there ever was one. Not much known about its natural habitats and its natural way of living in its native Russia. So, we often see these as imports. Nobody really captive breeds legless lizards. They're not that popular. They can be quite ferocious and quite not tame, and therefore, don't make good subjects.

Again, they have that practice of breaking off their limb, their tail, when threatened. So, you got to be very careful when handling them because rough handling or putting your hand over them when they're trying to get away and they will snap that tail, and the animal will go from this length to this length in two seconds, and that's something we don't want. The tail regenerates slightly. It's not the same as it was before, it's mostly cartilage, not bone anymore, and it comes back like a little stub, and people quickly tire of that kind of a look.

So, we don't see these very often in the pet world, but when we do it's very specialized. They need a nice soft substrate they can burrow into. They are an animal that comes from a cold climate, that they can tolerate cold temperatures. And some like to over winter under the ground. And if you do that to them they usually last for quite some time.

They're ferocious eaters. They attack mice and go down snake-like into mice holes in nature, so we feed them small pink or juvenile mice. They can't really wrestle with a big guy as well as they can with the small ones. So, a legless lizard is something for the specialist, for sure. I don't discourage it, but I do encourage you to do a lot of homework before you attempt to buy an imported Russian legless lizard. Not the easiest animal to keep in the reptile kingdom.

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