Ants only for Desert Horned Lizards?

Discussion in 'General Lizards' started by Tink, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    I'm thinking of getting some Desert Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma). Do they only eat ants, or can you feed them crickets as a substitute?
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. Ternaldo

    Ternaldo Embryo

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    Crickets work just fine...we have theses lizards at my store and crickets can be substituted for ants. I would also recomend a diet of crickets and king worms (also try some vegetables or fruit) but ants arnt very good because if you just catch them they might have insecticide in there systems which will build up in your reptile.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    Thanks for the info Ternaldo, I work at a petstore and we sell them and use crickets to feed ours there, but every care sheet/internet site says they need crickets. I have heard of people mail ordering ants for feeding purposes. I figured crickets would do the job.
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. Murtin

    Murtin Embryo

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    Ew. I wouldn't get one if I were you. In my opinion, they're ugly.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    Thats fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Not everything is for everyone, i can deal with that. I still want to get one. I was going to put him in a 20 gallon long tank. I am wondering if 2 in that tank would be too much. From what I've seen, they're pretty docile creatures, and they dont tend to bother each other.
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. jo_edwards

    jo_edwards Embryo

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    I have 2 and i fell in love with them as soon as i saw them. I think they are the most amazing looking lizards. Mine are beautiful i think and no-one can tell me otherwise. But i suppose they're an acquired taste lol! They have sweet personalities as well. They aren't the easiest lizards to keep and i've only just got mine but i love them to bits. They are quite dociale though my male tries to jab me with his horns when i approach him! (he is absolutely fine outside his viv though). They eat crickets (preferably the black ones - size 3) and beetles, and i catch the flying ants occasionally for them.

    How big (in feet/inches) is a 20 gallon tank? I have a pair in a viv that is 3ft by 18 inches. They do need a desert type substrate though. I have mine on about 1.5 inches of playsand. And most of the time they are buried under this.
     
  12. jo_edwards

    jo_edwards Embryo

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    hmmm how do i put piccies on here - could post some of niamh and levi for you
     
  13. jo_edwards

    jo_edwards Embryo

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  14. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

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    How long have you guys had these lizards? I'm just curious because it is my understanding they need the ants as well. I just wonder if you've only had them for a short time if eventually the lack of ants will take it's toll on their health. Have you had the lizards for very long?
     
  15. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    The ones i'm interested in have only been around for 2 months or so. I work at a petstore, and am thinking of just buying them from work. My manager is the walking encyclopedia, and he seems to think they are fine without ants. The 20 gallon tank is 30x12x12. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have them in their new home, complete with playground sand aswell.
     
  16. jo_edwards

    jo_edwards Embryo

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    I have only had them for 2 weeks but they are adults. But the guy at the shop i bought them from has successfully kept them for a while now - ant free. And he has successfully hatched 4 ickle babies. The only person - to my knowledge - who has done this in the UK. I have spoken to people who have had these for about 4 years - and they have been healthy for that long without ants. Experts say that they almost certainly don't require the ants. It's just a question about the formic acid i suppose. But i do try and get ants from my garden whenever i can - i tell my neighbours off now for killing lizard food when i see them pouring boiling water down an ants nest

    30 x 12 x 12 is a bit smaller than mine, but shouldn't be too bad.
     
  17. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

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    Well if you've got evidence they are fine without ants then more power to you. Might want to be careful about getting ants from outside, though. Pesticides, fertilizers, etc will no be good for your lizard and there's no way to tell what those ants have been exposed to.

    If, per chance, you guys do have problems with these lizards please let us know. Since these are such new animals the more info on them the better. :D Good luck!!
     
  18. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    Ya thanks wideglide, I was outside today cutting the grass and i found a pretty hefty ant hill, but I was thinking, I live almost out of the city and who knows what kind of chemicals they have all over them. I'm keeping it safe and getting crickets from work. I actually picked up 2 desert horned lizards today, so we'll see how they go. I'll keep you posted.
     
  19. Freaky_pete

    Freaky_pete Embryo

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    they look like tri cerotops (spelling) haha...
     
  20. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    ya they kinda do look like them, what they really remind me of is the cartoon called gargoyls, if anyone remembers that show.
     
  21. brandonbb89

    brandonbb89 Embryo

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    I would say just feed him crickets. Plus it would stink if those ants got loose. LOL
     
  22. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    So far the desert horned lizards have eaten crickets, I also fed them meal worms. The meal worms were gone in like 10 mins. So hopefully they got eaten and didn't just escape the feeding dish I used. I couldn't find any worms moving around in the sand, so I'll assume they were used as food.
     
  23. Tink

    Tink Embryo

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    They do seem to love the mealworms, and the lizards are getting nice and fat, so I'm hoping that trend will continue without the ants.
     
  24. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

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    So far so good! ^_^
     
  25. jo_edwards

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    tink - mine don't seem to be eating as much as i think they should (though i don't know how much they should eat - i'm used to the appetites of beardies) and they seem a little thin to me. Though they have fattened up compared to when i bought them. Could you just run through your set-up. Everything about it if possible. So i can pick out any differences or any reasons why they might not be eating too much. Thanks
     

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