12 Exotic Pets: The World’s Most Brilliantly Colored Lizards

Here are the world’s most beautiful and brightly colored lizards you might consider for a pet.

Animal activist will surely disagree with me if I’ll recommend these very colorful lizards below for pets. But many animals live much longer in captivity compared to those in their natural habitats. I believe that many animal species should be left alone in their natural dwellings. But I also believe it’s not bad to take animals from their natural habitats as long as we are responsible and knowledgeable enough in handling and raising them.

There are about 3,800 different species of lizards worldwide. They inhabit all continents except Antarctica. Green colored and dull colored lizards are very common. Have you seen a blue lizard? How about a red or orange one? How about a red-violet-colored reptile? A red-violet-colored lizard will surely look beautiful and pretty.

1.) Mwanza Flat-headed Agama (Agama mwanzae)

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The Mwanza Flat-headed Agama is probably the prettiest of all lizards. It looks stunning with its red-violet and blue color combination. It can be found in sub-Saharan Africa. This lizard that loves basking on rocks, hence it is also commonly known as Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama.

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The Mwanza Flat-headed Agama is now a very popular and fashionable pet because of its bright coloration which resembles the popular comic book superhero Lizard-man … errr…Spider-man.

2.) Cape Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion pumilum)

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As the common name of the Cape Dwarf Chameleon implies, it is a small but very vibrant species of chameleon. It is endemic to Western Cape, South Africa. Like many chameleons, it has a tongue twice as long as its body which it uses to catch insects some distance away. Including its tail, it can grow to a length of 15 cm.

3.) Kenyan Rock Agama (Agama lionotus)

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The Kenyan Rock Agama is an attractive and colorful lizard species that can be found in Kenya, hence the name. it can be found also in Uganda and Tanzania. It is often mistaken for the Red-headed Rock Agama which is another species of Agama.

4.) Lined Day Gecko (Phelsuma lineata lineate)

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Another brilliantly color lizard species is the Lined Day Gecko. This pretty gecko can be found in Madagascar inhabiting different trees and houses. Insects and nectars are its favorite foods. This small lizard, reaching about 15 cm in length, is dark green in color with small red dots.

5.) Sinai Agama (Agama sinaita)

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The Sinai Agama is a blue-colored lizard species commonly found in desert areas around the Red Sea. This agamid lizard is a good runner and climber and can grow up to 25 cm long. This omnivore feeds on plants, arthropods and insects. The male species turns to striking blue to attract females while in heat.

6.) Fire Skink (Riopa fernandi)

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The Fire Skink is a uniquely-colored lizard species that can be found in Europe. This Riopa fernandi species was photographed at the Tierpark Berlin, Germany. It is also commonly known as the True Fire Skink. It is easily recognizable from other Skink species through its vibrant red coloring on its sides from which it gets its common name.

7.) Emerald Tree Monitor (Varanus prasinus)

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The Emerald Tree Monitor is a brightly-colored arboreal lizard highly sought after by private collectors and zoos alike. This monitor lizard is popular for its unusual coloration, which consists of shades from green to turquoise. It can be found in New Zealand and Australia and neighboring islands. It can grow up to 100 cm in length. It is also commonly known as the Green Tree Monitor.

8.) Blue-tailed Skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae)

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The lovely and attractive Blue-tailed Skink is endemic to Australia which is recognizable for its blue tail and black body with yellow stripes. It can grow up to more than 8 cm in length. Male species lose the blue color of its tail as it matures while the female species retains the blue color of its tail for life.

9.) Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

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The green-colored with vibrant red throat and unique-looking Carolina Anole is an arboreal lizard of the United States. It can be found also in the Caribbean. it is also sometimes referred to as the American Chameleon because of its ability to change color. It is also commonly known as Red-Throated Anole, Green Anole and American Anole.  

Anoles are territorial animals and as a matter of fact, some have even been witnessed fighting their own reflection in mirrored glass.

10.) Lined Plated Lizard, (Zonosaurus laticaudatus)

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The cool-looking Lined Plated Lizard is not a very brightly-colored lizard but it is somehow unique in coloration and appearance. This particular lizard species was photographed at the Kirindy Forest Reserve in Madagascar.

11.) Common Green Forest Lizard (Calotes calotes)

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The colorful head of the Common Green Forest Lizard is what makes it remarkable. This captivating lizard can be found in India and Sri Lanka. In addition to its striking appearance, its body is bright green in color with 5 or 6 whitish or dark, green transverse stripes. Its belly is pale green and its tail is light brown.

12.) Blue-tailed Day Gecko (Phelsuma cepediana)

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The Blue-tailed Day Gecko is a beautiful and colorful gecko species of Mauritius. This medium-sized diurnal species can grow up to 15 cm long. The male species is bright blue in color with red spots and dashes while female species is bright green with rust-colored spots without the blue color.

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User Comments
  1. Jimmy Shilaho

    On October 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Pets indeed, has the word changed meaning?

  2. Goodselfme

    On October 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Well done and presented with such vivid colors.Thank you.

  3. Raj the Tora

    On October 4, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Extraordinary creatures. But before keeping them as pets, make sure one can provide them well with food, warmth and shelter, as improper management would fade their colors. Just as much as the green iguanas are not greener in prolonged captivity :)

  4. Eunice Tan

    On October 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    The blue one is unique.

  5. Rhodora Bande

    On October 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Great collection, Nobert. The photos are great too. It’s nice that we can take a look at these creatures through this article. On having them as pets, I’m not very keen on the idea. I agree with you: they must be left in their natural habitat.

  6. NJ Vet Dir

    On October 8, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Cape Dwarf Chameleon looks like a real hip guy.

  7. zinnia

    On January 30, 2012 at 1:21 am

    really would love to keep the cape dwarf chameleon but i cant seem to find anyone selling them

  8. David

    On December 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    @Cape Dwarf Chameleon: I get literally loads of those in my garden in Gordons Bay near Cape Town – video’d one on my lawn just yesterday! Looks EXACTLY like that one. Who knew it was considered an “exotic pet” somewhere! I’d feel a bit sorry for it if it was in captivity. I expect they might be be difficult to keep alive, as they seem quite restricted to the Western Cape here.

    I try to create a nice bushy environment for them, lots of trees and leafy bushes, and I use water ponds and lighting to help attract/produce insects so they have food … apart from that I try to just leave them be.

  9. David

    On December 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    From Wikipedia:

    “To maintain them (Cape Dwarf Chameleon) out of their natural environment requires advanced skills and is a demanding project; they require the right amount and type of ultraviolet exposure and large supplies of specific types of live food that are not easy to supply. In most urban environments, the amount of naturally occurring suitable insect food is insufficient. They should remain outdoors where they are able to regulate their own body temperatures using sunlight (like most reptiles, they die if deprived of, or overexposed to the sun)”

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