Dr. Sprackland is a herpetologist. He gained his MA in zoology at mountain Jose State University and his Ph.D at university College London.


The long-tailed grass lizard is an enchanting reptile both in the wild and in captivity.

Donald Hobern, CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Long-tailed grass lizards room beautiful reptiles that have actually grown quite renowned in the pets trade. Lock are called for the remarkable size of your tails, which space usually much more than 3 times the size of the remainder of their body.

You are watching: What do long tail lizards eat

Quick Facts

Latin Name: Takydromus sexlineatus (Daudin, 1802)Family: Lacertidae is a family spread throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.Distribution and also Habitat: This varieties is uncovered in Southeastern Asia, in grasslands, swamps, and some forests.In Captivity: This varieties is a lizard indistinguishable of a neighborhood tank choice, because they can be housed with various other non-aggressive varieties with a comparable head-plus-body length.

Information about Long-Tailed Grass Lizards

AppearanceDistributionHabitat and also HabitsBreedingAvailabilityCarePet Potential


Long-tailed grass lizards space a famous pet amongst reptile enthusiasts.

Bando26, C-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

1. Appearance

The six or so varieties in the genus Takydromus are conveniently recognized by their very long tail, i beg your pardon is 5 to 7 times longer than the head and also body. The head is long, acute, and also high, the eardrum is visible, and functional eyelids present. Body scales room large, rectangular, and also keeled. One enlarged row of dorsal scales runs along the back on each side of the body. There is a distinctive lateral fold near the belly on every flank.

The limbs room of normal size, but the digits are an extremely long and also thin, one more adaptation that helps to distribute the lizard’s weight. Ship scales are large, rectangular, and also arranged in unique rows. The tail is stout, round in section, and covered in large scales. If detached, a new tail will certainly regrow.

Adult long-tailed grass lizards selection in size from 1.5 come 2.15 customs (head + body), or 10 inches total for a huge adult.


This species is change in colour. The body is typically brown with up to six rows of pale yellowish stripes. The political parties of the body may be dark brown, light brown, olive, or grass green.

2. Distribution

The species exists transparent southern and also southeastern Asia, from seasonally moist regions of east India through Burma, Thailand and western Indonesia, and also north v Vietnam, Laos, and also Cambodia.

3. Habitat and also Habits

Long-tailed grass lizards spend lot of the day “floating” follow me the advice of tufts of thick grasses, where they actively forage for the little arthropods that make up their diet. They room most common in grasslands the receive continuous seasonal rain or are close to standing forests, but are absent from an ext arid regions. In ~ night, they commonly coil about or crawl right into the bases of the long grasses, or they look for refuge under boards, logs, or various other debris. They room not specifically territorial, so males and females are often observed near each other.

4. Breeding

Breeding is rarely reported, and also it's normally something just done by fine cared-for specimens. Females lay two to four tiny white eggs that are deposited amongst the bases the grasses or under logs, locations where the humidity can stay approximately 75–80%. Natural reproduction season wake up from April with June, and females might lay increase to 7 clutches per year. Hatchlings, though tiny (0.33 inches, head + body), currently have the characteristically lengthy tail. Feed hatchlings wingless fruit flies and also “pinhead” size crickets.

5. Availability

These lizards are fairly common in the pets trade, wherein they are frequently housed in large terraria along with anoles and house geckos. This is one of the few species that deserve to do fine in such a mixed-species environment. Price is typically under $10 (U.S.).

6. Care

Long-tailed grass lizards are active, fast runners that live wherein grasses can prosper quite high. The long stout tail is used to distribute body weight—working like a snowshoe—so lizards can skim throughout the top of slim tufts that grass. At night lock retreat to the bases of grass bunches, under logs and loose bark, or in other refuge. They carry out not burrow. Surface ar cover, such as small plants or boards, is essential.

Lizards take your water from leaves and also off glass, so administer a light misting at least three times a main (twice or an ext in summer). Store temperature in the variety of 72–95ºF. Light is important; administer an ultraviolet lamp for 2–3 hrs each day.

Long-tailed grass lizards feeding on small, soft-bodied arthropods in nature, acquisition flies, butterflies, beetles, ants, termites, and mall spiders. Terrarium specimens do well on a diet of small crickets, fruit flies (wingless or normal), and also wax worms. Every adult lizard needs about six mealworms (or equivalent) every week. Always provide a shallow dish of clean water, and also spray terrarium plants at least three times per week.

7. Pets Potential

These lizards are incredibly hardy in captivity and make good pets. The tail deserve to be to reduce if the lizard is about or improperly handled, yet it is no as most likely to happen as the is for many other little lizards. Long-tailed grass lizards deserve to safely it is in housed with various other lizards with a comparable body size, together as little skinks, geckos, and also anoles (see photograph below).


This write-up is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. The is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and also individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and also symptoms that distress must be viewed by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2008 Robert Sprackland


Peggy on respectable 25, 2020:

Just uncovered one in my bathroom today ! easily recognizable. Scooted the long-tailed small bugger out the former door. Hope he/ she provides it !

P.S. Ns live in So. Cal. !!!

lizardgirl33 top top December 22, 2018:

is over there a such thing as lock overeating and also dying?

Maggie ~ above July 31, 2018:

Do their cages should be misted

Thomas Englebert from Mays Chapel, MD. On might 06, 2018:

Need some information on asian Long Tails. First, how plenty of eggs carry out they lay at a setting? Second, how numerous do they place in a season? and also last, how long is the incubation period? Thanks.

can girlfriend tell me around biomes

anthony ~ above November 14, 2017:


Cathy ~ above September 29, 2014:

How quickly after hatching have the right to I feed a baby? I had actually an egg hatch critical night, and I think the ate the yolk component of his egg. I offered him a crushed fruit paris (I accidentally smashed it as soon as I tweezed it) and a living, crawling one, yet he doesn't seem interested. He likes to sit on mine hand and also look in ~ me, and then near his eyes because that a small while. He has peed, but I haven't checked out poop yet. Is the normal?

Robert Sprackland (author) from Here, there... On June 23, 2012:

About tail loss: when a lizard loser it's tail to a predator or, say, having a brick reduce on it, the an outcome is walk to be a lizard (over here) and it's dismembered tail, or component of the tail (over there). This tail lose is dubbed "autotomy," and not every lizards deserve to perform this anatomical stunt. Those the do, however, have remarkable small valves in your blood vessels, so very little blood is lost from the body (unless the lizard really was hit with a brick...). The tail, meanwhile, will probably wriggle like produced several minutes, and may run if touched even an hour later! As far as regrowth is concerned... It takes time. Components that recognize rate of regrowth include 1) diet and calcium in diet, 2) temperature the the environment, 3) age of lizard (kids always seem to heal faster), and also 4) exactly how much that the tail demands to be replaced. The takes less time to regrow one-quarter of a tail's size than one-half. Likewise know the the brand-new tail will not look choose the old one. Rather of having bones with joints, the will flourish a single, long, unjointed cartilaginous rod: the tail will no much longer be functional or bendable. Under great conditions, expect to see new tail growth start after around three weeks.

Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... ~ above June 23, 2012:

Long-tailed Lizards can live at temperatures together low as 75 F, yet if they become sluggish or refuse come eat, it could mean that they need more time in warmer temperatures--up to 95 F. Never ever put lock in a room where they can not escape the heat--they need shade, some bark, or plants in which come hide. When the terrarium is gift heated end 85 F, over there must constantly be component of the enclosure the is no warmer than 75 F.

Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... Top top June 23, 2012:

Hello, fellow lizard lovers. Around those Long-tailed Lizards housed with other species, and also that gain sudden death. The Fire-bellied Toads space a very feasible concern, due to the fact that toads secrete part nasty toxin from your skin. The lizard might lick it, drink water that the toad was in, or eat an insect that had crawled over the toad first. (It could also be toxin native the frogs.) Suggestion: put the lizards right into new, clean cages. DON'T store them in the same terrarium however move the toads, because toad toxin could remain as residue. The only method to clean a previous toad-cage is come take everything out and give the a thorough wash through soap and hot water.

lilwitch on may 23, 2012:

Hi there, i`m not sure if my long-tailed lizard is a female or mail, yet i discovered something under its absent by the looks of it, it looks choose an egg however, it`s acquired pinched sides. My quiestion is if it`s an egg, how have the right to i make an incubator to ensure it`s health. There`s just one that i`ve noticed. What need to I do?

jen on may 15, 2012:

i have 2 liz and there not moving yet still breathing ns touched one of them and also she didn't craw as soon as she reallly walk what should i do

trudy ~ above April 26, 2012:

great info - thanks ! i love these small lizards and really took pleasure in learning an ext about them. I'm hoping our small girl will be laying egg soon and I was trying to find info - many thanks allot !

tootergirl on march 27, 2012:

i love long tailed lizards but what i want to know is what are some testible questions around them

daviddwarren22 on July 23, 2011:

Great work, really nice information.

Derrick top top June 05, 2011:

i have actually a long tailed grass lizard. Mine daughter got scared and also dropped the lid ~ above the lizards tail and also cut the off will it it is in alright? i experienced alittle blood. Will it grow back?

ReptileRevolution from California on march 02, 2011:

Have friend bred longtails?


anonymous ~ above October 16, 2010:

i also have a longtail grass lizard who lives with an anole a tree frog and a firebellied toad. Mine longtail stopped eating after ~ i had actually had it because that only around a month and also a half and after about a week and a fifty percent it obtained really really skinny and also died. Ns was wondering what brought about it so i can keep that from happening to my new longtail lizard. Plz respond soon

annonymous ~ above October 10, 2010:

Jake, you cn call a female and male personal by looking best where the tail begins. If it has actually a swollen little bulge under the tail that is a masculine if no bulge the a female.

Jake on respectable 15, 2010:

I have 3 questions my lengthy tailed lizards tail dropped off as soon as i to be sleeping how long go it take to thrive back? just how long does it take because that there eggs to hatch? just how do u tell a male and also female apart? please help!

adrian ~ above June 03, 2010:

what does it average whene the egg is suck in

Jon Legacy on December 12, 2009:

I have 2 lengthy tailed liz, and they are an extremely different sizes. One is 8inches and the various other is simply under 13inches. They have been living with 2 fire bellied toads and one Pacific Tree Frog. Castle all acquire along an excellent and also sleep with each other sometimes.

Now my problem is that both of the lengthy tailed room not eating. Ive dust through vitamins and calcium together required. Tank is at around 78f, and also high humidity. Might they be sick? you re welcome help.

See more: Animes Like Ouran High School Host Club Anime Recommendations

Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... ~ above July 03, 2009:

Hi, eilwynn -- You have actually a perfect trio for breeding long-tails! Yes, by all means remove the eggs. Your setup sounds great except for the breeze, which can introduce bacteria. Eggs need to hatch in about 4-5 weeks; feed the youngsters pinhead crickets and also fruit paris (which girlfriend can quickly lure with some smashed banana in the lizards' cage). -- Dr. Robert Sprackland

eilwynn ~ above June 30, 2009:

I just found out i have 2 females and also a male (lucky guy). Both females set eggs. Very first do i must remove them come to flower them? the temp and humidity it seems to be ~ very good in your housing. The first time one laid egg they were not round so i threw them away, (not round yet with a pinched height kind of triangle like)this time all five eggs watch great. I had some perlite in mine garage and put around 5 inch in a plastic container and also added about 3 inches of water (i did do divits to location them in) and also a cover through holes and placed lock in my spare room top top a heater pad top top low through a towel between them and heating pad. Ns didn't think to temp it yet i execute turn it turn off in the day only while i am at work-related the weather has actually been quite warm throughout the day and i didn't desire to overheat them. My reasoning was that the heat water would keep till i acquired home. Also should it it is in dark all the time i did put it under the home window so a an extremely light breeze come thru and also they obtain the day light and the night at actual times. I am going to have to buy a book, however can you aid me with this batch or have to i quit. I have actually only boy Geckos, however long tailed grass lizards are brand-new to me.