If you’re looking for small pet lizard ideas, then this article is for you. We’ve taken the time to list some of the smallest pet lizards you can get in the pet trade, along with some general information on each one.
Sometimes, small is much more practical. As you may have seen in our post on the best large pet lizards, there are a lot of disadvantages that come with a bigger lizard and they’re generally not recommended to keep as pets. Luckily, with the small pet lizards on this list, you won’t have any problems with feeding, housing, or general care.
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Advantages of small pet lizards
Small pet lizards are great for a number of reasons. First, they don’t require a lot of space for you to house them in. This saves on space, but also saves on costs of heating and lighting if necessary. They also don’t eat as much as larger pet lizards which also save on the costs.
Their size also means there’s less of a chance of them hurting you if they bite or scratch. This is something that can’t be said for larger pet lizards, which can do a lot of damage with their claws or jaws.
All-in-all, there are a lot more advantages to keeping a small pet lizard than there are disadvantages!
Disadvantages of going with a small pet lizard
There are some disadvantages that come with a smaller size too, one of the main ones is that you’re more likely to harm them when handling. Even though many are ok to handle, if you drop them or accidently rub them too hard, you may injure you pet.
Another disadvantage of their size is that they an be difficult to find if they happen to escape. This isn’t a problem if they don’t escape though, so make sure you get a suitable enclosure!
The best small pet lizards!
Here’s our list of 13 of the smallest pet lizards available in no particular order…
Size: Up to 8-inches in length
First on the list is the green anole; a lizard that commonly features in lists across the web. They’re a beautiful species to keep as pets and have gorgeous green coloration with a pink-purplish heugh under their chin.
They’re also one of the smallest pet lizards on this list, at only a couple of inches long. This makes them perfect for a smaller sized enclosure and given the fact you can keep multiple together, they can be even more fun to watch as they interact with one another.
They’re not great for handling as they’re extremely fast and jittery. However, if you’re looking for a small display animal then this is the perfect option.
Size: up to 4 inches in length
The side-blotched lizard is a small lizard that’s native to Mexico and isn’t as common as lizards like the Leopard gecko and bearded dragon. This lizard is generally active during the day and tends to be quite easy to care for providing you’ve done your research. They eat small insects and are quite easy to breed meaning they’re generally not too expensive and easy to find. Caring for these little lizards also won’t break the bank since their food and heating isn’t too expensive.
Size: Up to 11 inches (70% = tail)
Long-tailed lizards are very small lizards, especially if you consider that up to 70% of their length is their tail. They live to be around 5 years if cared for properly which is far more manageable than the standard 10-20 years of other pet lizards. Long-tailed lizards are fascinating animals, especially when housed in slightly larger enclosures. That being said, slightly larger is still small compared to other lizards and their maintenance isn’t all too expensive. They’re one of the most underappreciated small pet lizards that exist and are certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a smaller variety.
Size: Up to 10 inches
The crested gecko is one of the most popular small pet lizards there are, and one of the top 2 most popular pet geckos. These docile animals make for great gets and are extremely interesting to watch due to their funny looks and interesting behavior. Crested geckos are ok when it comes to handling as they tend to respond well to it, but they have delicate skin which is prone to damage when handled too often or incorrectly.
African fat-tailed gecko
Size: Up to 10 inches
These friendly nocturnal pet lizards are one of the best small pet lizards species there are. These geckos are very similar to the leopard gecko which is by far one of the most popular pet lizards out there. They’re less common than leopard geckos but are quite easy to find if you take some time to look carefully. They’re also easy to care for if you do your research, but they can live to over 15 years so make sure you take this into account before you run to your local breeder to get one for yourself. These geckos can drop their tail if stressed or trapped, so are to be handled with caution. There’s a lot of information on their care available and are quite hardy which makes them a great beginner pet lizard.
Size: Up to 30 inches
The Uromastyx is a small pet reptile that is growing in popularity in the pet trade. Their docile and laid-back attitude makes them great pets, and they’re also quite hardy which makes them more suitable as a pet than more challenging species like chameleons. They’re relatively easy to care for and not too hard to find available. They’re also one of the few smaller pet reptiles that eat solely vegetables which makes them very suitable to those who aren’t too keen on feeding their reptile live insects.
Size: Up to 8 inches
There are various different species of fence lizards available in the pet trade, all of which stay relatively small. These lizards like warmer dryer climates and many are found natively within the US. They make good pets but aren’t great for handling due to their fast speed and relatively delicate body and skin. They’re easy to care for and make wonderful display animals.
Size: Up to 25 inches
Difficulty: Very high
The Yemen chameleon isn’t a small pet lizard we’d recommend, but they’re beautiful none the less. Yemen chameleons are notoriously difficult to care for and require very humid conditions in order to survive and thrive. Most chameleon species aren’t recommended as pets due to their relative difficulty compared to other more beginner-friendly lizards in the pet trade. It’s best to avoid these animals unless you have significant experience caring for chameleons. They feed mainly on insects but have been known to eat vegetation from time to time. It is thought they do this mainly for water and not for nourishment.
Size: Up to 9 inches
The five-lined skink can make for a great small pet if you’re not looking for an animal you can handle often. These skinks are relatively easy to care for and are hardy too, making them more suitable pets than the previously mentioned Yemen chameleon. As long as you do your research, caring for a five-lined skink is doable for most people. They’re native to the US which is also a pro since we’re seeing a trend toward the banning of non-native animals in the US in locations where their (accidental) release may cause them to become invasive species.
Size: Up to 8.5 inches
The leopard gecko is by far the most popular small pet lizard on this list and one of the most popular and common pet lizards in the world. Leopard geckos are known to be very hardy and are easy to care for if you do your research. They’re found pretty much everywhere and are available in hundreds of different morphs ranging from inexpensive varieties to rarer more expensive morphs. Although they tend to be docile and easy to handle, their skin can be prone to injury if handled roughly. Another reason why rough handling is best avoided is due to their ability to drop their tail when stressed or when their tail is grabbed. The tail can grow back but it doesn’t look at good as its original tail. Although it’s normal for the animal to do this when it’s threatened or grabbed by the tail, it’s best avoided at all costs.
Mediterranean house gecko
Size: Up to 6.5 inches
The Mediterranean house gecko is a good small pet lizard but can be difficult to keep in its enclosure. These geckos are very fast and can quickly run out of their enclosure when you open it if you’re not paying attention. They’re beautiful animals and are fairly easy to care for. That being said, they’re not good for handing due to their fast speed, ability to climb vertical surfaces, and relatively delicate skin.
Size: Up to 14 inches
Handleability: Low – medium
Collared lizards are great pets who are very active and can display very interesting behaviors if kept in a larger enclosure. If you do enough research, it’s very doable to care for these lizards properly if you have some prior experience with other lizard species. We wouldn’t recommend them to beginners due to the fact it’s a little harder to find correct information about their care online. That being said, they’re very interesting animals and look absolutely stunning.
That was our list of the best small pet lizards. Although we always do our best to cover every angle, and we’ve tried to include as many small pet lizards as we could think of while writing this post, we’re sure we’ve missed some. If you have any other lizards you feel we should add to this list, leave a comment and we’ll try to add it in as soon as possible!