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Blue Tegu | Information, Facts & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Wild adult male Argentine Blue Tegu

Blue Tegu lizards or Argentine Blue Tegus are among the most striking reptilian pets. They are beautiful and unique lizards that are hard to miss because of their size and deep blue color.

They’re also an excellent choice for first-time reptile owners, as they’re relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of specialized equipment or knowledge.

In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about Blue Tegus, and by the end, you’ll see if one is a perfect match for you and your home. So, let’s begin!

What Is a Blue Tegu?

Blue Tegu close up portrait
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

Blue Tegus are intelligent, loyal creatures with a pleasant disposition. These exotic, big lizards are usually black and white with a bluish tinge. They make excellent companions, and their calm and gentle nature makes them well-suited for reptile beginners.

Blue Tegu lizards are native to South America. They live in forests close to water sources like rivers or lakes, where there are plenty of insects for them to eat. They can be found in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

This lizard is a highly invasive species in many areas of the world. In its native habitat, it eats eggs and can disrupt the natural balance in any given area. Hence, it’s crucial to research Blue Tegus before purchasing one.

Furthermore, Blue Tegus need special care because of their size and natural instincts for escaping captivity.

They require a large enclosure with plenty of room for exercise as well as hiding places where they can feel safe.

Blue Tegu Appearance

Breeder holding the Blue Tegu with its tongue out
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

The Blue Tegu has a variation of blue, white, and black coloring that depends on their morph or genes.

However, they usually come in the morph of the black and white Argentine Tegu. They have scaly and rough-textured skins.

Blue Tegus have burly arms and sharp claws on their front feet that are used for digging and climbing trees. They also have big heads and slender bodies.

Moreover, their long forked tongues help them sense prey underground by picking up vibrations from their feet.

The Blue Tegu is considered one of the most beautiful tegu lizards because of its striking colors and patterns, which can be seen throughout its body, including its face, legs, and tail.

Blue Tegu Size and Weight

The Argentine Blue Tegu is smaller than the other Tegu breeds. When fully grown by 2 or 3 years, Blue Tegu lizards weigh between 7 and 20 pounds and are usually 3 to 4 feet in length, with powerful tails and stout bodies.

Normally, males are more extensive than females. Moreover, Blue Tegus that are fed daily and do not undergo brumation may grow larger in size than others.

Overall, it’s important to remember that you cannot estimate how large a Tegu will become by its age, as each specimen’s growth rate depends on diet and environmental factors.

Blue Tegu Behavior and Temperament

Adult male Blue Tegu in the sun
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

Blue Tegus are known for their intelligence, strength, and amiable personality. However, during their second year, Blue Tegu lizards may become aggressive and destructive as a sign of maturity.

You should take this behavior seriously and maintain a close relationship with your pet. Training will be essential at this point. 

The process can be a bit trying, but your Tegu will eventually settle down and become more docile.

In addition, they are exceptionally excellent pets when trained correctly. They can also be taught tricks and commands, making them wonderful companions. In no time, they will also respond to their names.

Blue Tegus are also known for their active and playful personalities. These fun-loving reptiles enjoy snuggling up on the couch, exploring their environment, and playing with toys.

Overall, Blue Tegu lizards make great companions for keepers who are looking for a close bond with a reptile.

Blue Tegu Lifespan and Health Issues

The Argentine Blue Tegu can live up to 20 years in the right conditions, though 10 to 15 years is their typical lifespan.

Remember that this reptile thrives in places where the climate is relatively stable. Also, you will be able to give your pet the best chance of living a long life by providing it with similar conditions.

Like other Tegu variants, a Blue Tegu is generally healthy and interactive. However, these lizards may be prone to certain health problems that you should watch out for.

Here is a list of health conditions Blue Tegu lizards are prone to having:

  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): MBD is a well-recognized and common condition seen in pet reptiles. The condition results from an improper ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the body, causing softened and damaged bones. A balanced diet and intensive calcium and vitamin supplementation are usually used to treat this health issue.
  • Cloacal Prolapse: Cloacal prolapse refers to any condition involving the protrusion of tissue from a Blue Tegu’s vent, typically caused by excessive straining. Treatment should begin as soon as possible because they are treated as emergencies.
  • Obesity: Obesity is a common problem among Tegus, as they are gluttons and eat almost everything that they are offered. This can lead to health problems later in life because of their high cholesterol levels.

Moreover, keeping an eye on your pet’s environment is recommended, as they can also suffer from respiratory problems if kept in overly damp or cold conditions.

Aside from the health concerns mentioned above, it is also important to note that a decrease in appetite is a common sign of illness for your Blue Tegu. Ensure that you contact your vet right away if this occurs.

How To Take Care of a Blue Tegu

Man holding a light shade Blue Tegu with one hand
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

Blue Tegus can be a lot of fun to own. They’re pretty easy to care for, but there are some things you need to know before bringing one home.

Here are some of the essential points about Blue Tegu maintenance that you should know before bringing one home:

Habitat & Tank Set-Up

Blue Tegus can grow quite large and are known for their immense size. For your Blue Tegu’s best and most comfortable experience, you’ll want to give it as much space as possible.

Young Tegus can be kept in 10 to 20-gallon aquariums, but a full-grown Blue Tegu will need around 8 to 16 square feet of space with enough room to climb on, depending on their size.

Moreover, males may need larger enclosures than females to accommodate their size. Averagely, a 6x3x3 feet enclosure may suffice, but the bigger the setup is, the better for your Blue Tegu lizard.

Lighting

Blue Tegu lizards are not nocturnal, so they need full spectrum light during their active hours. They also need type B ultraviolet (UVB) lighting so that their skin can absorb vitamin D3 from the sun.

Additionally, Blue Tegu lizards should have at least 12 to 14 hours of light per day so that they can have their natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness.

If you do not provide enough light for your pet Blue Tegu, it will become very lethargic and may even stop eating.

You’ll also want to ensure that any artificial lights you use provide adequate illumination without causing glare or creating shadows on your pet’s face; this will help keep it calm and comfortable.

Temperature and Humidity

Blue Tegus are native to South America and live in tropical rainforests with high humidity levels and stable temperatures.

As such, they require very high levels of humidity in order to thrive. The ideal range for their habitat is between 75% and 90% humidity.

This can be achieved by misting them lightly with water once or twice daily or by placing a shallow dish of water inside the cage and letting it evaporate slowly over time.

During the day, they should be exposed to temperatures between 100° and 110°F (38°-43°C), with the coolest area of their cage between 80° and 85°F (27°-29°C).

Substrate

Blue Tegu lizards have particular substrate requirements. They need a substrate that is soft enough to burrow into but not so soft that it can sink into it.

In addition, they require a substrate that will allow them to shed their skin when needed without causing any problems with their health or well-being.

Make sure you look for something made from natural materials such as cypress mulch, coco husk, or coconut coir.

Artificial materials like peat moss or vermiculite are more likely made with chemicals that could be harmful if your pet ingests them over time.

Feeding & Diet

Argentine Blue Tegus are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. They prefer to eat small rodents like mice or rats but also enjoy fruits and vegetables such as bananas or pumpkins if available.

Young Tegus need more protein than adults, so their diet should consist of 90% protein and 10% fruits and vegetables. Adult or full-grown Blue Tegus should be fed 60% protein, 30% vegetables, and 10% fruits.

Their diet could also include insects like crickets or mealworms, which they catch with their long tongues. The Argentine Blue Tegu is not picky about its food, making it easy for owners to feed them at home.

Additionally, the Argentine Blue Tegu has a straightforward diet plan. Hatchlings or lizards at around 6 months and below should be fed every day. Juveniles aged 7 to 12 months should be fed almost every day.

Once they turn subadults at about 1 to 3 years old, they should be fed every other day. Lastly, adults aged 3 years and up should be fed twice a week.

Blue Tegu Handling Tips

Beautiful small hybrid Blue Tegu
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

The Argentine Blue Tegu is a very delicate animal, so you must handle it with care and respect. They can be friendly and affectionate once they form a strong bond with their owners.

Get them used to being handled by taking them out of their cage often and holding them in your hands. They’ll eventually get used to being picked up and carried around by you.

Don’t grab the Tegu by its tail or neck, as these are very sensitive areas. Instead, try picking up the Tegu by putting one hand under each of its front legs so that its body is parallel to the ground.

Be careful not to squeeze them too tightly, though, as this can cause stress to them. You can also try petting them or offering some treats so they trust you more.

You can tell if your Blue Tegu is ready to be handled by how it holds its tail. If it hangs down loosely from the body, like a plume, your pet is relaxed enough to be picked up without any trouble.

If the tail stays close to the body or curls around it, you should wait until this behavior changes before attempting to pick it up. It could have been stressed by something or may simply not want to be held at the moment.

Furthermore, do not disturb it when it’s hiding. Invading them will come off as a predatory move, and your Blue Tegu may lose trust and be aggressive toward you.

Blue Tegu Shedding and Brumation

Blue Tegus are lizards that shed their skin regularly throughout the year. They do this because they need to keep their skin moist and strong. Also, they shed in order to grow.

As the weather changes and temperatures fluctuate, your Tegu’s skin loses moisture and becomes dry. The Tegu will shed its skin to restore moisture levels and ensure its scales are healthy.

However, if your Blue Tegu has been kept indoors for long periods in a dry environment, it may not shed as often as it usually does. This can lead to dry patches on its scales or even an infection if left unattended.

That’s why it’s essential to give your lizard at least one hour of natural light every day so that it can begin shedding correctly again. It is also best not to peel your Tegu’s skin as it can be painful for them.

On the other hand, like many lizards, Argentine Blue Tegus will go through a period of hibernation called brumation during the winter months.

It’s important to note that there is no set length of time for how long Argentine Blue Tegus brumate. Some may only last a few weeks, while others could stay under the covers for months at a time.

How Much Does a Blue Tegu Cost? Prices & Expenses

Blue Tegu breeder holding a little Blue Tegu for sale
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

Argentinian Blue Tegus cost anywhere from $250 to $600 depending on their age, sex, and morph.

In addition to purchasing your Blue Tegus, you would also need to consider the maintenance costs to keep it healthy and thriving.

For example, their habitat can range from $100 to $300 depending on how big your cage is and what kind of materials are used in its construction.

You’ll also need to consider all the expenses needed within their living set-ups, such as lighting and substrate.

A good lighting set-up may cost around $50 to $70, while quality substrate may hold you back by $8 to $40.

Moreover, you’ll also need to purchase food, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per month.

Check out this informative video about how much it costs to own a Tegu lizard:

How Much Does It Cost To Keep A Tegu?

Places to Find Blue Tegus for Sale and Adoption

The Argentine Blue Tegu is one of the most popular Tegus in captivity, quickly becoming one of the most popular pets overall.

It is best to look for a reputable breeder with experience raising these large pets that require special care growing up.

Here are some places where you can buy an Argentine Blue Tegu:

  • Rose City Reptiles – Rose City Reptiles is a family-run business that strives to provide people passionate about reptiles with beautiful and healthy pets. They have all kinds of Tegus and have been knowledgeable about breeding them through years of experience.
  • Jesse’s Jungle – Jesse’s Jungle is a South West Florida-based reptile breeding facility specializing in tegus, iguanas, and monitors. They house Blue Tegus and advocate to teach their clients how to care for them in their new homes properly.
  • Snakes at Sunset – Snakes at Sunset is a reptile company with over 15 years of experience breeding and selling reptiles. They are dedicated to providing hobbyists and breeders with quality, healthy reptiles for sale. They specialize in rare turtles, frogs, tegus, iguana morphs, and ball python morphs.

Aside from buying a Blue Tegu, you can also adopt one. Not only will this help you save money, but it also helps ensure that the animal has a loving home forever.

Here are some options for you if you’re considering adopting a Blue Tegu:

  • Fresh Start Rescue Inc. – Fresh Start Rescue Inc. is a registered animal rescue located in coastal North Carolina, consisting of a group of volunteers passionate about saving the lives of homeless, unwanted, and injured reptiles. They take in every type of reptile out there — snakes, lizards, and everything in between — and care for them until they can be placed in responsible homes.
  • Blue Ridge Reptile Rescue – Blue Ridge Reptile Rescue is a non-profit organization in Fairfield, Virginia, that rescues and cares for reptiles of all kinds, including Tegus. The organization’s team includes dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to help sick, injured and abandoned reptiles.
  • Reptile Rapture Rescue – Reptile Rapture Rescue takes in unwanted, abandoned, and injured reptiles weekly. These reptiles are rehabilitated and then adopted into new homes. Before adopting a reptile, Reptile Rapture Rescue ensures that potential adopters have the proper housing for their new pet.

Whether you decide to buy or adopt a Blue Tegu, you’re going to have a blast. These creatures are fascinating and will definitely be worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Big male Argentine Blue Tegu on the floor
Image credit: hectorshabitat / Instagram

Are Blue Tegus Good Pets?

Blue Tegus are capable of being very good, affectionate, and loyal pets but require a lot of care and attention.

They need to be handled frequently and trained early on so they don’t become destructive or aggressive later in life.

Do Blue Tegu Bites Hurt?

The bite of a Blue Tegu is not as painful as it looks. However, it depends on how big the lizard is and how hard it’s biting down. A small lizard can cause pain by biting you, but a large one could break your skin.

Do Blue Tegus Recognize Their Owners?

Blue Tegu lizards are very smart reptiles. They are known for their ability to recognize their owners and respond to their names. However, it still depends on their bond with their human.

Some owners find that their Blue Tegu will recognize them immediately, while others don’t see any recognition until much later in the relationship.

Are Blue Tegus Friendly?

Blue Tegus are very friendly and make for great companions. They are large, so they can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you get to know them, they’re sweet and affectionate.

Blue Tegus are not aggressive by nature, but they can be protective of their owners, so it’s essential to make sure that you introduce them to any new people or animals in your home slowly and calmly.

Can a Blue Tegu Free Roam?

Blue Tegus can free roam. They are known for their incredible climbing abilities. They can also easily jump from one place to another, so they’ll be able to get around your house quickly.

However, you should still get them a cage with plenty of room to roam around. The best way to make sure your Blue Tegu is healthy is to give them plenty of space in which they can run around and explore.

Can You Potty Train a Blue Tegu?

You can potty train a Blue Tegu, but it’s not easy. If you have the patience to train your pet how to use its litter box, then you’ll be rewarded with a happy and healthy pet that is well-adjusted in its new home.

Final Thoughts

An Argentine Blue Tegu is an excellent pet if you’re into lizards. You will find them to be loyal, affectionate, and energetic companions. They also require less maintenance than other exotic pets.

Blue Tegus are typically very healthy and active, so they require plenty of exercise and playtime. They are usually very quiet and brilliant pets who love to bond with their owners.

If you’re looking for a new adventure and a friend that will keep you on your toes, an Argentine Blue Tegu is definitely worth considering.

What can you say about this cute reptile? Share your thoughts in the comments below!