Argentina red tegu.

Jacobchinarian

Arachnoknight
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Aug 2, 2010
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255
So I was thinking about gettin one of these. I love their size and docilness. I just need to know if they can be completely vegetarian. I am a vegetarian myself and it would kill me to need to feed it many mice every day. I have heard that they are primarily herbivorous but to what extent does that go? I would love one if these massive lizards and this is a pretty important question. I would be fine with feeding insects though. I am getting a dubia roach colony started.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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Jan 6, 2009
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No they absolutely can not be primarily vegetarian. They can survive quite well on beef heart and liver, turkey and chicken parts and large roaches(and a lot of them) though. My argentine b&ws can eat up to 15 mice a week plus organ meats in the summer, the volume of protein that they require is amazing.
 

RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
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An adult would need way more than 3-6 dubia roaches a day. We have a young Tegu, probably only a foot in body length (more with tail) and he can polish off a whole F/T chick in one sitting, no problem.

Personally, I think if a pet's dietary needs do not mesh well with your own, it is best to get an animal that aligns with your ethics rather than trying to alter the animal's diet. There are a few herbivorous (or mostly herbivorous with a bit of bugs on the side) lizards you may find interesting; there are some GORGEOUS uromastyx species out there, for example.
 

Jacobchinarian

Arachnoknight
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Aug 2, 2010
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I would be fine feeding the occasional mouse but not as a staple. Could dubia roaches and fruit and vegetables work? Maby a mouse every couple of weeks or so. I think another problem with the mice is the cost. That would certainly add up fast at 15 mice a week.
 

stevetastic

Arachnodemon
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Jul 29, 2008
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A good staple diet would be a varied diet with various fruits and lots of meat and bugs. Feeding it one thing with a very occasional treat is no way to care for a tegu.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
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Mar 20, 2010
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Sounds like a good idea! Perhaps even a nice Tortoise maybe? Or some lovely beetles, or millipedes?
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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If you want a vegetarian lizard +1 on the uromastix, they're pretty awesome. And if you can get your hands on an Egyptian, they get fairly massive as well.

There are also various iguanas(rhino, green, rock etc) and chuckwallas.
 

SK8TERBOI

Arachnopeon
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Oct 18, 2010
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I also agree that a Uromastyx I had have never owned one personally but from other i know having them they are a relatively low maintenance Lizard it's that or get a water dragon or Iguana
 

Jacobchinarian

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Aug 2, 2010
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Vegetarians not what I am necessarily looking for. I'm looking for a big lizard that can be mostly if not completely insectivorous. I could do maybe weekly feeding of mice, just I probably couldn't feed it mice every day.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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A full grown tegu would be able to eat 100 adult dubias in one sitting, a monitor would eat even more. The only lizard of size that I can think of that would eat mice and roaches is a blue tongue.

Maybe look into a rhino iguana, they're pretty awesome and will eat just about anything you feed it.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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Also, you could just order frozen mice online in bulk.
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
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a Green Iguana gets pretty big and thay eat fruits, veggies, meal/super worms, wax worms, ect....
 

Jacobchinarian

Arachnoknight
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Aug 2, 2010
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Iguanas take more space than I can fit I suppose since I found a place online were I can buy mice in bulk then I might be able to get a large carnivorouse or omnivorous lizard. The more I think about it the less squimesh I get about feeding frozen mice.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
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Mar 20, 2010
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If you don't have the space for an Iguana why get any large lizard? Argentine Red Tegus aren't that small getting up to about 4ft. And if you are squeamish about feeding rodents to their predators due to a conflict of interests, then stick with an inectivorous smaller reptile. If you cannot "deal" with the natural dietary requirements for an animal, don't get it. I'm not attempting to be rude here, just stating a simple fact of life. There are numerous other insectivorous reptiles that you may find less conflicting to your personal preferrences.
 

Toirtis

Arachnobaron
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May 14, 2010
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316
Argentine Red Tegus aren't that small getting up to about 4ft.
Actually, up to 5' +....and you would be looking at an enclosure that would need to be at least 8' x 5' x 3', so do not be thinking that a red tegu takes up small space or small food.

An adult red can look like this (not one of mine, but a large adult from a show I went to):

 

RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
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Jul 8, 2007
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Yeah, if you lack space for an iguana, you lack space for a tegu. Tegu like to burrow and need a large footprint on their enclosure - arguably a larger footprint than the more arboreal iguana. I would really suggest a mid-sized lizard or smaller tortoise if you want vegetarian (or mostly veg) pet that will fit in their space.

BTW, this is my uromastyx...Reasonable adult size, good temperament, vegetarian, and gorgeous.

(It was sickly when I first got it & took this photo; has since put on weight. I just wanted to illustrate the color.)
 
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