The Red Head Agama (Agama agama) is a lizard from sub-Saharan parts of Africa. These agamas are also known as rainbow agamas because of the striking colors the males display. They are fun lizards to watch and are perfect for the beginner or intermediate reptile owner.
Male and female red head agamas look very different. Females are brownish, tan in color. They are meant to blend into the landscape. Males, on the other hand, stand out with bright red-orange heads and a mixture of blues, greens and blacks across their body. When fighting other males or trying to attract a mate, the males will become even more colorful.
These agamas will reach a length of about 14 inches. Females tend to be a little smaller. If you take care of these reptiles right, they can live up to 10 years old.
Most red head agamas tend to be jumpy around humans, but with regular handling, they will warm up to you. If you do anything to scare your lizard, he/she will remember that and will not trust you next time you enter their cage.
Being carnivores, these agamas will eat crickets, meal worms and super worms. Adults need to be fed 2-3 times per week and they will eat 15-20 crickets or 10 super worms. Meal worms can be used for babies, but if fed to adults, they will need around 40-50 per feeding. Babies should be fed daily about 10 crickets. Make sure the crickets are well fed and at an appropriate size. A crickets should be as long as the width of the agamaís head to prevent choking.
Adult red head agamas can also be fed the occasional frozen/thawed pinkie mouse. Do not feed an agama more than one pinkie per month because they are very filling. Pinkies are totally optional, but are recommended for females while laying eggs.
Red head agamas need their space. A single adult should stay in a cage no smaller than 40 gallons and a pair will be happy in a 100 gallon cage. You can either purchase tanks or cages or you could make them. Remember that floor space is a lot more important than height, and you cage only has to be 12-18 inches high.
Do not keep males together because they will fight and injure themselves. Females can be kept together in groups and with males if you plan on breeding them.
Because they live in the scrublands of Africa, a substrate of a calcium based sand works perfect. To make you cage more natural, you can mix in wood chips with the sand. Other options for substrate is peat moss, or if you want to keep things simple and clean, newspaper works well.
Provide your red head agama with at least 3 hide boxes throughout the cage. A hide box can be simple like a small cardboard box or you can purchase clay or rock hides. Make sure everything you put in the cage is stable and will not fall and injure your agama. Give a red head agama plenty of rocks and branches to climb around on.
Red head agamas, like all reptiles, are exothermic. This means that they rely on an outside heat source to stay alive. Red head agamas need a basking spot of 90F and an ambient temperature of around 80F. To reach 90F, you can either use a reptile bulb of about 60-80 watts or a reptile heat mat that you place on the bottom of the cage. At night the temperatures can drop to around 75F.
Since you are keeping your red head agama inside its entire life, they never have an opportunity to get any vitamin D from the sun. To get them their vitamins, you will need to provide a UVB bulb. Make sure this bulb is not more than 12 inches away from your agama or they will not benefit from it.
Humidity should be kept at a minimum of 10-20%. They are from the desert and only need a small amount of water. A small water bowl is all they need.
Spot clean the cage and provide fresh water daily. Loose substrates need to be replaced every 4 months and newspaper needs to be replaced when soiled. Every year everything should be remove and the entire cage cleaned.
Breeding red head agamas is an easy process but be sure you are ready for their eggs. It is best to introduce the male and the female in March or May, when the daylight hours start getting longer. To increase the chances or the amount of eggs, you can add as many females with one male as you wish.
When the females begin to get round with their eggs, you can put an egg laying box into the cage which should fit all the females and can be a plastic bin fill with sphagnum moss or dirt. Make sure the female(s) get plenty of calcium, and you can give them one pinkie to keep up their weight if you want. Each female can lay up to 20 eggs, and if you keep the male in the cage year-round they may lay multiple times in one year.
Once the eggs are laid, they should be removed from the cage so they are not crushed. Place the eggs into an incubator and keep it at about 85F. The eggs can take up to 3 months to hatch.
Hatchling Care Baby red head agamas are only a few inches long and can be kept in a 10-20 gallon enclosure. As they get bigger, the size of the cage will need to increase. Hatchlings will eat small crickets and should be kept on a newspaper substrate. Make sure they have enough places to hide so they donít feel exposed. As soon as you can tell if they are male and female, separate them. If a male and a female try to mate when they are too young, the female may hurt herself trying to lay eggs.
Red head agamas are very popular lizards because of their great coloring. They are relatively easy to care for and a lot of fun to interact with. Remember, do your research before buying any pet so that it can live happily and healthily.
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