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Old 07-02-2007, 08:31 PM
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Default argentine black and white tegu

Argentine black and white tegu
Tupinambis meriane

History
the black and white tegu inhabit the forsest edge savvanahs and adjacent rainforsets of argentina they are largely terrestrial and spend most of there time in their burrows which provide protection from the extream heat ,they are mainly scavengers and will eat just about everything in the wild their diet consists of 60%fruit 40% protien
they`ve tamed very well in captivity and the good temperment of this large lizard makes them a wonderfull pet to own

Apperence
The argentine black and white tegu are a very thick set lizard which can grow between 3.5-4.5ft ,
the species can get mixed up with the columbian black and white tegu but they are quite easy to tell apart, the argentines have thick plated scales on the tops of there heads where as the columbians are smooth
the argies allso have two scales between the eye and nostral and have a linear of white spots going up their sides,they are allso black and white where as the columbians are more black and gold
the male argentines will develop jowls when they reach to about 3ft which look like puffed up cheaks,males will grow larger than the females too

Husbandry
As hachlings they can be started off in a 2ft long viv,juvies 4ft by 2ft by2ft and then up to an 8ft by 4ft by 4ft maybe a minimum of 6ft by 3ftby 3ft if you have a female or a small male
for substrate i use aspen bedding as do alot of others they can dig under it and be compleatly covered which is what they like to do most of the time as they are from rainforests they need a humidity of 60-70 to help with shedding and overall health
the enclosure should have a uv and a heat source,the temps should be 85 cool end 95 hot end and 105-115 basking spot
they need fresh water daily and a tub for soaking or you can do that out side the enclosure ,a daily misting and a water bowl up the hot end will get your humidity up

Feeding
Hatchlings should be feed a diet of crickets,mealworms and offered fruit
juivies ,crickets,locusts,mealworms,and 2-3 small mice,offered fruit evry day
adults,larger locusts ,mealworms,ground turkey,chicken breast,scrambled egg,snails,adult mice and fruit offered every day
you should work out a feeding schedule so your tegu has a varied diet or it could become overweight and very fussy ,when feed fruit use things like apple,bannana,grapes,melon,papaya,kiwi,avacardo,ma ngo,strawberries

Hibernation
These tegu hibernate for 6 months of the year,they will start slowing down in august and then start hibernateing in september and will end in march ,they will not begin feeding properly until april and then for the next 5months they will stock up on food ready for september,
however you dont have to let them hibernate by not cooling down the temps and carrying on feeding them,they will slow down and will sleep alot they wont eat as much as they did either
a warning though if your tegu goes in to hibernation with food in his belly it can rot and will kill him/her
if your goal is to breed dont let them miss the first year of hibernateing!

Tameing
once youve brought your tegu home its best to let them settle for a few days and make sure theyre eating right ,put an item of worn clothing in its enclosure away from the basking area so he/she can get familiar with your smell ,the tegu will sometime use the item as a hide and will associate your smell with safety and comfort
the next is to start puting your hand next to the tegu while he/she is basking do that for 2-3 time a day untill you can touch him/her with out it moveing away,
the next is to start strokeing ,they love the top of the head being stroked and the back,they get nervous when you touch thier sides and tail to start off but once they learn your not a threat theyre fine
now gently pick him/her up from under the belly dont not make fast movements and grab him/her
after every session give them a couple of locusts or crickets as a treat they will learn quickly that if theyre good they get something good,

My thoughts
Tegus are well known for being a large docile lizard and if you have the room and time you will have a wonderfull lizard for many years
kingsnake, philo, NigelE and 1 others like this.

Last edited by martin day; 07-02-2007 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:38 PM
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ill be honest ,ive only owned my tegu for 5 months but i absoloutly love these lizards ive done so much research on them i just wanted to contribute to the forum in writeing a caresheet perhaps im not qulified to but its something ive been wanting to do for sometime
any feed back will be appreciated good or bad
thanx
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:01 PM
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Nice care sheet. YOU HAVE REP!
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:08 PM
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thank you, ive been worring the first reply would be something bad
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Old 24-02-2007, 12:45 PM
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cool care sheet martin but was wondering.....my tegus are now both hibernating took your advice and have now turned down heating to mimic winter...but how low can they go?? ive been searching through books and care sheets and still havent found any winter temps for tegus.ive brought them down to 76 and havent disturbed them.didnt bring temps down straight away its been a gradual thing (as the female did eat around 10 days ago).
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Old 25-02-2007, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin day View Post
Argentine black and white tegu

Hatchlings should be feed a diet of crickets,mealworms and offered fruit
juivies ,crickets,locusts,mealworms,and 2-3 small mice,offered fruit evry day
adults,larger locusts ,mealworms,ground turkey,chicken breast,scrambled egg,snails,adult mice and fruit offered every day
you should work out a feeding schedule so your tegu has a varied diet or it could become overweight and very fussy ,when feed fruit use things like apple,bannana,grapes,melon,papaya,kiwi,avacardo,ma ngo,strawberries
Question - I was told that I could give the tegus raw chicken eggs - and have done so, they crack them open and lick out the insides - is this bad for them? It's not on your list and I was wondering - I got the info from someone else who has kept them and bred them once successfully.

Also can't get mine to even think about eating fruit, only meat & eggs.. Any suggestions there?
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Old 25-02-2007, 04:09 PM
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next time they start to hibernate keep them at about 60-65 degrees and the humidity at 50, yours did start quite late and should be starting to be more active in about a months time so keeping them at around 70-75 would be fine for now as in the wild it would be starting to warm up now
youve done the right thing to gradually bring the temps down

chicken eggs are ok to feed as a treat as they can cause fatty liver diesese if given to much, i give mine 1 every two weeks
does yours eat insects if not you really need to add some to his diet they have alot nutrition in them and apart from fruit they make up most of a tegus diet in the wild, keep in mind that tegus are scavengers in the wild so they wont come accross alot of meaty things only the odd rodent
if your tegus are brumnateing or hibernateing you will find it hard to get them to eat fruit ,if they really like raw egg put a bit over a bowl of fruit ,
if that doesnt work defrost a mouse in some warm water and then pour some of the water over the fruit you could allso try feeding them mealworms with fruit every time sometimes they eat the fruit by mistake and find they actually like it
what fruit have you been trying mine wont touch apples bannanas or green grapes ,his favorites are pineapple, red grapes, mango, papaya
its just a case of trying different fruits
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Old 26-02-2007, 09:04 PM
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eggs dont neccessarily cause fatty liver disease, its the high protein count that makes them unhealthy, also because they are raw many keepers worry that it will increase risk of being infected with salmonella if by chance they get bitten.

nice to see you wrote a caresheet martin, sure people will find it handy.
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Old 26-02-2007, 10:44 PM
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thanks blazey, i dont understand when keepers dont like feeding raw eggs because of the salmonella feeding raw meat will allso cause them to be infected with salmonella and that doesnt stop them
my tegu wont eat scarmbled or boiled only raw
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:10 PM
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Can you give Tegus cooked meat like stewing steak etc.? I am still only researching them and probably will for the next few months before getting one. Also what you do feel about the canned monitor food? Also are do all lizards carry salmonella, even the captive bred ones? Sorry for so many questions.
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