Would like first hand info on tegu keeping/care

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Dec 22, 2004
Eventhough I'm doubtful that I'll get one any time soon I still like the info.
I've checked all the tegu threads here and there arn't many. Not much is mentioned on food/housing/light/temps/humidity and so on, so I take what you got! ;) I don't like digging through caresheets on the www really, as they seldomly seem to provide the best care info.

What I've learned so far though is that they get between 3-5ft, depening on type and that the black&whites seem the most tollerant.

If you know how to train a Tegu, I'd love to hear that too!! :)

Thanks in advance!

P.S. and if you got pictures, don't be shy about them! =) D.S.


Old Timer
Dec 8, 2003
Tegu husbandry is pretty similar to that of monitors, although tegus are omnivorous and will take some fruit. A lot of people use raw ground turkey as the diet staple. Basking temps should be hot (110-120*F). Humid hideboxes should be provided, as well as relatively high ambient humidity (at least 50%, higher is better). Cypress mulch makes a good substrate since it holds humidity well, but plain old dirt would probably be even better, as tegus are fond of digging and burrowing. Experiment with dirt types and moisture levels to find something that's diggable and will hold a burrow. As far as temperament goes, red tegus seem to be the mellowest, from what I remember. Check the forums as http://www.thetegu.com for more information. They can give you a lot more information than I could.

Edit: Also, there's some debate over whether UVB is necessary or not, since tegus spend so much time underground, but I personally think that you're better off with it than without. Better safe than sorry and all that.