Reptiles, specifically lizards, have become popular pets in households for various reasons. Lizards are fascinating creatures with unique personalities that make them a pleasure to watch. Depending on the species and breed, the cost of keeping a lizard as a pet is cheaper than you would expect.
However, certain breeds require special equipment and enclosures that can get pretty expensive. To help you figure out which lizard fits in your price range, here’s a list of the cheapest lizards to keep as pets.
How Much Does a Lizard Cost?
As stated earlier, the price for a lizard depends on the species and the level of care you provide. According to Jamie Phillips, the co-owner of Wiregrass Exotics reptile and supplies store in Ozark, AL, the cost of a lizard can range from $50 to more than thousands of dollars, depending on the reptile morph or genetic variation.
The initial cost of owning a lizard goes beyond paying for the lizard itself. In addition to the cost of owning a lizard, there are other expenses that include the following:
The price of equipment for a lizard can cost anywhere from $150 to $400, including electricity, enclosure, heating, and other items your pet might need.
List of the Cheapest Lizards to Own as Pets
At first glance, the cost of owning a lizard may seem expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options to choose from that’ll fit your budget. Check out our list of the cheapest lizards to keep as pets.
1. Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons are first on this list because they are the most popular and reasonably priced. Pogona is a genus of reptiles that encompasses eight species that are commonly known as bearded dragons. They belong to the Agamidae family and originate from the desert areas of Australia.
Bearded dragons, playfully called “beardies,” are captivating reptiles that have one of the best temperaments of all lizards. Beardies are typically docile and even sociable, as they enjoy being handled. The average cost of a bearded dragon ranges from $50 to $150 and the total cost including the necessary equipment for your lizard ranges from $300 to $500.
2. Crested Gecko
Correlophus ciliatus, commonly known as the crested gecko, is a species that belongs to the Diplodactylidae family. Crested or eyelash geckos are endemic to the tropical climates of southern New Caledonia.
Crested geckos are an inexpensive and underrated species to keep as a pet. This gecko’s easy-going personality and curious temperament have made it a popular lizard for beginners and children. Crested geckos are low maintenance, and you can expect to pay $40 to $150 for a crested gecko. The cost including materials for your lizard will range from $200 to $300.
3. Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are one of the most gentle and cheapest lizards to keep as pets. The leopard gecko is scientifically known as Eublepharis macularius and it belongs to the Eublepharidae family. This terrestrial reptile is native to the dry grassland and desert regions of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pets for their distinctive appearance, docile nature, and low maintenance requirements. Due to extensive captive breeding, leopard geckos are available at most pet stores and range from $50 to $100. The cost in addition to equipment needed to care for your pet will cost around $300 to $350.
4. Green Iguana
If you’re a lizard enthusiast who likes a challenge, green iguanas are great pets that are one of the cheapest to purchase from a breeder. The green iguana is a large, tree-living, herbivorous species of lizard in the Iguana genus that belongs to the Iguanidae family.
The price of the green iguana is fairly inexpensive, with the cost ranging from $20 to $150 depending on the breed or gender. However, the initial cost of supplies like an enclosure, lighting, humidifier, and other supplies can get expensive, costing you between $300 and $500.
If you’re planning on purchasing a green iguana, make sure you do your research to make sure the state you live in will allow you to keep an iguana as a pet, and plan in advance to ensure you’ll have everything you need to bring your beloved pet home.
5. Chinese Water Dragon
Physignathus cocincinus, also known as the Chinese water dragon, is native to the subtropical regions of southern China and Southeast Asia. Chinese water dragons are another large lizard that belongs to the Agamidae family, just like bearded dragons.
Due to their specific care requirements, Chinese water dragons are not suitable for beginners. However, these lizards are intriguing creatures that will fit in the price range of experienced reptile owners. The average cost of a Chinese water dragon is $50. The bulk of the expenses will go towards equipment that can range from $400 to $1000 and will vary depending on the source and region you purchase from.
6. Green Anole
The scientific name for green anole is Anolis carolinensis. This lizard is part of a tree-dwelling anole group that belongs to the Dactyloidae family. You may have seen these little creatures around your backyard, as green anoles are native to the southeastern United States.
Green anoles are terrific pets for beginners because they are affordable and hardy lizards. The average cost of a green anole ranges from $5 to $20 and the cost of housing plus equipment will cost you around $250.
7. African Fat-Tailed Gecko
The African fat-tailed gecko or Hemitheconyx caudicinctus, is a terrestrial gecko from Cameroon and West Africa. The fat-tailed gecko belongs to the Eublepharinae subfamily, which has different physical characteristics from other geckos, like the leopard gecko.
This lizard has a docile temperament, is fairly quiet, and rarely bites, making it the perfect “starter” pet for children and beginners. Depending on age or genetic variation, you can buy an African fat-tailed gecko for $25 to $550. Fat-tailed geckos are pretty self-sufficient, so they don’t need a lot in terms of housing and equipment. The cost of equipment for an African fat-tailed gecko will range from $80 to $150.
Uromastyx is a genus of Asian and African lizards in the Agamidae family. Uromastyx — commonly known as spiny-tailed lizards — are fascinating creatures that make the perfect choice for beginner pet owners. This prehistoric-looking reptile is known for its calm nature and is fairly easy to take care of.
There are various species of lizards in the Uromastyx genus, but the cheapest one is the Saharan uromastyx. The Saharan uromastyx is also the most common, and they’re readily available at most pet stores, costing between $50 and $200. Since heat and lighting are the main needs for your lizard, the cost of equipment will range from $250 to $500, depending on where you purchase the items from.
9. Blue-Tongued Skink
The blue-tongued skink belongs to the Tiliqua genus, which has some of the largest members of the Scincidae or skink family. Blue-tongued skinks are endemic to Australia, New Guinea, and multiple small islands of Indonesia.
Due to being low-maintenance and easy to care for, the blue-tongued skink makes the perfect pet for someone who is looking for a lizard with a nice temperament and friendly personality. The most affordable skink is the northern blue-tongued skink. They can cost you anywhere from $50 to $250 and the initial set up as well as supplies will cost around $300 to $500.
10. Long-Tailed Grass Lizard
Takydromus sexlineatus, or the long-tailed grass lizard, is an arboreal species of lizard in the Lacertidae family. The long-tailed grass lizard is found throughout Southeast Asia and is endemic to China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Known for their easygoing and gentle nature, long-tailed grass lizards are budget-friendly and an ideal option for beginners. Long-tailed grass lizards are pretty common pets that are sold at pet stores for $10 to $50. The cost of equipment for your lizard will range anywhere from $150 to $300.
What Is the Cheapest Lizard to Keep as a Pet?
There are plenty of lizards that fit in low price ranges. However, even though the price of a lizard may be cheap, the bulk of the money you will spend will go towards set up and equipment that can cost hundreds of dollars.
Remember to always do your research prior to purchasing your lizard, so you can set money aside to make sure you can provide the best life for your new lizard companion. Below is a table of the previously mentioned lizards and their prices, listed from the cheapest to the most expensive, to help you find the perfect pet for your budget.
|Name||Price of Lizard||Price of Equipment|
|Green anole||$5-$20||Around $250|
|Long-tailed grass lizard||$10-$50||$150-$300|
|African fat-tailed gecko||$25-$550||$80-$150|
|Chinese water dragon||$50-$200||$400-$1000|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © PetlinDmitry/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
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