Tegu Lizard

(Tupinambis teguixin)

Reptiles Alive Name: “Tupinambis”

Hissstory: Tupinambis was an unwanted pet that came to live at Reptiles Alive in 2005.

RA Diet: We feed him mostly dead mice, but he also gets some fruit, eggs and occasionally, a giant cockroach.

Natural Diet: Tegus are opportunistic omnivores, which means they eat almost anything! Fruit, insects, invertebrates, eggs, small mammals, snakes, fish, and carrion could all be eaten by a hungry tegu.

Range: Northern South America, including the Amazon Rain Forest.

Habitat: The forest floor of tropical rain forests where they spend a lot of time hiding in burrows.
Size: Adults reach between 3 and 4 feet in length and usually weigh about 8 pounds.

Lifespan: Can live 10-20 years.

Reproduction: Females will lay 30 – 50 eggs which hatch in about three months. Hatchlings are a beautiful jade green. This color fades as they age.

Conservation: Some people hunt these lizards for their meat and skin. Other tegus are captured for the pet trade and many tegus you might find in a pet store are wild caught. Tegus do not make good pets. In south Florida, unwanted pet tegus have been released into the wild and are now becoming a problem species. Never release unwanted pets into the wild – you never know what damage can occur.

Cool Facts: Tegu scales are round in shape making the animal feel like it is covered in beads. Tegus fill the same ecological niche as monitor lizards do in the Old World, (monitors don’t live in the Americas).

“It was a pleasure having Reptiles Alive at the 12th Annual Taste of DC!” – Dawn Poker, Executive Director, American Experience Foundation



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  1. Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival Reptiles Alive Show

    April 21 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
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    May 12 @ 11:15 am - 5:00 pm
We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade class.read more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17