Emerald grass lizard, Takydromus smaragdinus

Emerald grass lizards are a fun and communal small lizard

At a glance...
  • Emerald grass lizards are stunning and can be kept in groups
  • Active lizards that make great display animals
  • Generally skittish but can be tamed with enough work
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Do Emerald grass lizards make good pets?

Emerald grass lizards, otherwise known as Green grass lizards are a small arboreal species endemic to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan where they inhabit the humid rainforests. They are very fast and can be a little skittish when untamed, but usually tame down quite well to allow handling, although care should be taken when doing so as they are a very delicate species.

This species can be kept in pairs or groups, however, when more than one male is kept together it is important to monitor them closely in the beginning, to avoid aggression if they are not compatible with each other. All of the Emerald grass lizards for sale at Swell Reptiles were captive bred in the UK, giving you safety in the knowledge your new reptile will be free of parasites with minimal environmental impact.

What enclosure does an Emerald grass lizard need?

Emerald grass lizards are arboreal and have high humidity requirements, so their enclosure should be vertically orientated and able to stand up to the consistent moisture that will be present in the air. Therefore, glass or PVC enclosures tend to work the best, as wood is likely to warp in the conditions this species requires. An enclosure around 90 x 45 x 60cm (36 x 18 x 24”) is sufficient to house up to four adults, so the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 90x45x60cm is a good choice.

Do Emerald grass lizards need to be heated?

To allow them to properly regulate their own body temperature, Emerald grass lizards should be provided with a basking temperature between 30-32°C (86-89°F) and a cooler area between 22-25°C (71-77°F). This should be achieved using either a basking lamp or ceramic heater above the mesh top of the terrarium, both of which must be hooked up to the relevant thermostat, i.e. a dimming thermostat for a basking lamp, or a pulse thermostat for a ceramic heater.

Unless your home drops below around 15°C (59°F), you will not need to provide any overnight heating for your Emerald grass lizard, in fact, allowing this nighttime drop in temperature is much more natural for them as it simulates the natural temperature drop when the sunsets. If you do need to provide overnight heat, this should be using a non-light emitting heat source and be set to a lower temperature than during the day.

Do Emerald grass lizards need UVB?

To allow them to properly metabolise vitamin D3 and avoid serious health issues such as metabolic bone disease, Emerald grass lizards should be provided with UVB, giving them a UVI between 3-4. This is usually done using an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% positioned 30-40cm (12-15”) from the highest basking point, however, if this distance will be greater in your set-up (but no greater than 60cm/24”), then an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Desert 12% would be better.

How do I decorate an Emerald grass lizard’s vivarium?

Being an arboreal species, Emerald grass lizards should be provided with lots of branches and vines so that they are able to utilise all of the vertical space within their enclosure, plenty of foliage should also be provided in the lower and upper areas of the enclosure, either using real or artificial plants.

If you would like to go down the bioactive route and plant live plants, a planting substrate such as Arcadia EarthMix should be used on top of a drainage layer of Hydro Rocks and Hydro Matting. However, if you would prefer not to use live plants, a simple, soil-based, moisture-retaining substrate such as coco soil is a good option.

What do Emerald grass lizards eat?

Emerald grass lizards are insectivorous and should be fed a diet solely made up of various livefoods. Livefood alone will not provide your new lizard with all of the nutrients they would receive from their natural diet, so this should always be dusted with supplements according to a specific regime. We recommend using a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such as Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3.

How do I buy an Emerald grass lizard?

All of our livestock is for in-store collection only, so if you would like to purchase one of the UK captive bred Emerald grass lizards then please pop in and see us.

To ensure our livestock only goes to the best homes possible, we will perform a short interview and ask to see some images of a suitable set-up with the correct temperature and humidity parameters and adequate lighting. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please refer to our dedicated Emerald Grass Lizard Care Sheet.

Common names Emerald grass lizard, Green grass lizard
Scientific name Takydromus smaragdinus
Country Japan
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 15cm (6”)
Natural habitat Rainforest habitats
Housing 90 x 45 x 60cm (36 x 18 x 24”)
Ideal temperature 30-32°C (86-89°F) (warm end); 22-25°C (71-77°F) (cool end)
UVI 3-4
Ideal humidity 60-80%
Diet Insectivorous
Average lifespan 6-10 years
Personality Skittish but can be tamed
Ease of handling Easy-moderate
Cohabitable Yes
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  1. Emerald grass lizard, Takydromus smaragdinus, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsLizards

    Emerald grass lizard, Takydromus smaragdinus, care sheet

    Emerald grass lizard, Takydromus smaragdinus, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.