Dr. Sprackland is a herpetologist. He gained his MA in zoology at san Jose State University and his Ph.D at university College London.


The long-tailed grass lizard is one enchanting reptile both in the wild and in captivity.

Donald Hobern, CC through 2.0 via Flickr

Long-tailed grass lizards room beautiful reptiles that have grown quite famous in the pet trade. Castle are named for the remarkable length of their tails, which room usually more than three times the size of the rest of their body.

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Quick Facts

Latin Name: Takydromus sexlineatus (Daudin, 1802)Family: Lacertidae is a family dispersed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.Distribution and Habitat: This types is discovered in Southeastern Asia, in grasslands, swamps, and some forests.In Captivity: This species is a lizard tantamount of a community tank choice, since they can be housed with other non-aggressive species with a comparable head-plus-body length.

Information about Long-Tailed Grass Lizards

AppearanceDistributionHabitat and HabitsBreedingAvailabilityCarePet Potential


Long-tailed grass lizards are a well-known pet amongst reptile enthusiasts.

Bando26, C-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

1. Appearance

The six or so species in the genus Takydromus are easily recognized by their incredibly long tail, i beg your pardon is five to 7 times much longer than the head and also body. The head is long, acute, and high, the eardrum is visible, and also functional eyelids present. Body scales space large, rectangular, and keeled. One enlarged heat of dorsal scale runs follow me the ago on every side that the body. There is a unique lateral fold close to the belly on every flank.

The limbs space of common size, however the digits are very long and also thin, another adaptation the helps to distribute the lizard’s weight. Ship scales room large, rectangular, and arranged in unique rows. The tail is stout, ring in section, and also covered in large scales. If detached, a brand-new tail will certainly regrow.

Adult long-tailed grass lizards selection in dimension from 1.5 come 2.15 inch (head + body), or 10 inches full for a large adult.


This species is variable in colour. The human body is generally brown with up to six rows that pale yellowish stripes. The political parties of the body might be dark brown, irradiate brown, olive, or grass green.

2. Distribution

The types exists throughout southern and also southeastern Asia, indigenous seasonally moist regions of eastern India v Burma, Thailand and western Indonesia, and north through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

3. Habitat and also Habits

Long-tailed grass lizards spend much of the work “floating” along the tips of tufts of special grasses, whereby they proactively forage for the little arthropods that comprise their diet. They space most common in grasslands the receive regular seasonal rain or are close to standing forests, but are missing from much more arid regions. At night, they frequently coil roughly or crawl right into the bases of the long grasses, or they seek refuge under boards, logs, or other debris. They space not an especially territorial, for this reason males and females are frequently observed near each other.

4. Breeding

Breeding is seldom reported, and also it's generally something simply done by well cared-for specimens. Females lay 2 to four small white egg that are deposited amongst the bases the grasses or under logs, areas where the humidity have the right to stay approximately 75–80%. Natural breeding season wake up from April with June, and females may lay up to seven clutches every year. Hatchlings, though tiny (0.33 inches, head + body), already have the characteristically long tail. Feed hatchlings wingless fruit flies and “pinhead” sized crickets.

5. Availability

These lizards are relatively common in the pet trade, where they are typically housed in large terraria in addition to anoles and house geckos. This is among the couple of species that deserve to do fine in together a mixed-species environment. Price is typically under $10 (U.S.).

6. Care

Long-tailed grass lizards room active, fast runners that live wherein grasses can prosper quite high. The long stout tail is provided to distribute human body weight—working favor a snowshoe—so lizards can skim throughout the tops of slim tufts that grass. At night castle retreat to the bases the grass bunches, under logs and loose bark, or in other refuge. They perform not burrow. Surface cover, such as tiny plants or boards, is essential.

Lizards take their water from leaves and off glass, so administer a irradiate misting at least three time a week (twice or more in summer). Keep temperature in the range of 72–95ºF. Lighting is important; provide an ultraviolet lamp for 2–3 hrs each day.

Long-tailed grass lizards feed on small, soft-bodied arthropods in nature, taking flies, butterflies, beetles, ants, termites, and mall spiders. Terrarium specimens carry out well top top a diet of little crickets, fruit paris (wingless or normal), and also wax worms. Every adult lizard needs about six mealworms (or equivalent) every week. Always provide a shallow dish of clean water, and also spray terrarium plants at least three times per week.

7. Pet Potential

These lizards are extremely hardy in captivity and make good pets. The tail deserve to be to reduce if the lizard is roughly or improperly handled, yet it is no as most likely to take place as it is for plenty of other tiny lizards. Long-tailed grass lizards have the right to safely be housed with various other lizards with a comparable body size, such as little skinks, geckos, and also anoles (see picture below).


This short article is accurate and also true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not supposed to substitute because that diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and also individualized advice native a veterinary medical professional. Pets exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress need to be seen by a veterinary immediately.

© 2008 Robert Sprackland


Peggy on respectable 25, 2020:

Just found one in mine bathroom today ! easily recognizable. Scooted the long-tailed little bugger the end the front door. Expect he/ she renders it !

P.S. Ns live in So. Cal. !!!

lizardgirl33 on December 22, 2018:

is there a such thing as lock overeating and dying?

Maggie ~ above July 31, 2018:

Do your cages have to be misted

Thomas Englebert native Mays Chapel, MD. On may 06, 2018:

Need some information on eastern Long Tails. First, how numerous eggs execute they lay in ~ a setting? Second, how many do they put in a season? and also last, exactly how long is the incubation period? Thanks.

can you tell me around biomes

anthony ~ above November 14, 2017:


Cathy on September 29, 2014:

How soon after hatching can I feed a baby? I had actually an egg hatch critical night, and I think that ate the yolk part of his egg. I offered him a crushed fruit paris (I by chance smashed it when I tweezed it) and a living, crawling one, however he doesn't it seems to be ~ interested. That likes to sit on mine hand and also look at me, and then near his eyes because that a little while. He has actually peed, however I haven't watched poop yet. Is that normal?

Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... Top top June 23, 2012:

About tail loss: once a lizard loses it's tail to a predator or, say, having actually a brick to reduce on it, the result is walk to it is in a lizard (over here) and also it's dismembered tail, or part of the tail (over there). This tail lose is called "autotomy," and also not all lizards have the right to perform this anatomical stunt. Those that do, however, have actually remarkable small valves in their blood vessels, for this reason very tiny blood is lost from the body (unless the lizard yes, really was hit with a brick...). The tail, meanwhile, will more than likely wriggle like made for several minutes, and also may jump if touched also an hour later! As much as regrowth is concerned... The takes time. Determinants that identify rate that regrowth include 1) diet and also calcium in diet, 2) temperature that the environment, 3) period of lizard (kids constantly seem to cure faster), and also 4) how much that the tail needs to be replaced. The takes much less time come regrow one-quarter that a tail's length than one-half. Additionally know that the new tail will certainly not look favor the old one. Instead of having bones with joints, it will grow a single, long, unjointed cartilaginous rod: the tail will no much longer be versatile or bendable. Under an excellent conditions, mean to see brand-new tail expansion start after about three weeks.

Robert Sprackland (author) native Here, there... Top top June 23, 2012:

Long-tailed Lizards deserve to live at temperatures as low together 75 F, yet if they end up being sluggish or refuse come eat, it can mean the they need more time in warmer temperatures--up to 95 F. Never put them in a space where they can not escape the heat--they require shade, some bark, or tree in which come hide. Once the terrarium is gift heated over 85 F, there must always be component of the enclosure that is no warmer 보다 75 F.

Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... On June 23, 2012:

Hello, other lizard lovers. About those Long-tailed Lizards housed with various other species, and also that obtain sudden death. The Fire-bellied Toads room a very possible concern, because toads secrete part nasty toxin from their skin. The lizard could lick it, drink water that the toad was in, or eat bug that had crawled end the toad first. (It could additionally be toxin native the frogs.) Suggestion: placed the lizards into new, clean cages. DON'T save them in the very same terrarium however move the toads, because toad toxin could remain as residue. The only method to clean a former toad-cage is to take whatever out and give the a thorough wash with soap and also hot water.

lilwitch on may 23, 2012:

Hi there, i`m not certain if my long-tailed lizard is a female or mail, yet i uncovered something under its rock by the watch of it, that looks like an egg however, it`s obtained pinched sides. My quiestion is if it`s an egg, how can i do an incubator to ensure it`s health. There`s only one that i`ve noticed. What must I do?

jen on may 15, 2012:

i have actually 2 liz and also there no moving yet still breathing ns touched one of them and also she didn't craw when she reallly go what have to i do

trudy on April 26, 2012:

great details - many thanks ! ns love these little lizards and really delighted in learning an ext about them. I'm hope our small girl will be laying egg soon and I was searching for info - thanks allot !

tootergirl on march 27, 2012:

i love lengthy tailed lizards but what i want to know is what space some testible questions about them

daviddwarren22 top top July 23, 2011:

Great work, very nice information.

Derrick on June 05, 2011:

i have actually a long tailed grass lizard. Mine daughter obtained scared and also dropped the lid on the lizards tail and cut that off will certainly it be alright? i experienced alittle blood. Will it grow back?

ReptileRevolution native California on in march 02, 2011:

Have girlfriend bred longtails?


anonymous on October 16, 2010:

i additionally have a longtail grass lizard who stays with one anole a tree frog and also a firebellied toad. My longtail quit eating after i had actually had it because that only about a month and also a fifty percent and after about a week and a half it got really really skinny and also died. I was wondering what caused it therefore i deserve to keep that from happening to my new longtail lizard. Plz answer soon

annonymous top top October 10, 2010:

Jake, you cn call a female and male apart by looking right where the tail begins. If it has a swollen little bulge under the tail it is a masculine if no bulge its a female.

Jake on respectable 15, 2010:

I have 3 questions my lengthy tailed lizards tail dropped off as soon as i was sleeping just how long walk it take to thrive back? how long does it take because that there egg to hatch? just how do u tell a male and also female apart? please help!

adrian on June 03, 2010:

what does it average whene the egg is suck in

Jon Legacy top top December 12, 2009:

I have 2 lengthy tailed liz, and they are very different sizes. One is 8inches and also the other is simply under 13inches. They have been living through 2 fire bellied toads and also one Pacific Tree Frog. Castle all get along good and also sleep together sometimes.

Now my problem is that both of the long tailed are not eating. Ive dust v vitamins and calcium as required. Tank is at about 78f, and high humidity. Could they be sick? please help.

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Robert Sprackland (author) indigenous Here, there... On July 03, 2009:

Hi, eilwynn -- You have a perfect trio for breeding long-tails! Yes, by all means remove the eggs. Your setup sounds good except because that the breeze, which might introduce bacteria. Eggs need to hatch in around 4-5 weeks; feeding the kids pinhead crickets and fruit paris (which girlfriend can conveniently lure through some smashed banana in the lizards' cage). -- Dr. Robert Sprackland

eilwynn ~ above June 30, 2009:

I just found out i have 2 females and also a male (lucky guy). Both females to adjust eggs. First do i have to remove them come to flower them? the temp and also humidity it seems to be ~ very great in your housing. The first time one laid eggs they were not round so i threw lock away, (not round however with a pinched peak kind the triangle like)this time all five eggs watch great. I had some perlite in my garage and put around 5 inch in a plastic container and also added around 3 inch of water (i did do divits to place them in) and a cover with holes and also placed castle in mine spare room top top a heating pad on low through a towel between them and heating pad. Ns didn't think to temp it however i do turn it off in the day only while i am at occupational the weather has actually been nice warm during the day and also i didn't desire to overheat them. My reasoning was that the warm water would keep till i gained home. Also should it it is in dark all the time i did put it under the home window so a very light breeze come thru and also they acquire the day light and the night at actual times. Ns am going to have to buy a book, however can you assist me through this batch or have to i quit. I have actually only young Geckos, yet long tailed grass lizards are new to me.