Basic Caresheet: Gold Tegu (Tupinambis texguixin)

The Gold Tegu (also know as the Columbian/Gold Tegu) is found in Tropical Rain forests with its range between northern South America and Amazonian Peru. They grow to 44″ snout to tail and are a difficult species to keep; are often aggressive and are very strong; they are not a recommended pet for beginners.

Typically males will grow to 44″ snout to tail and 14″ (35cm) snout to vent. Females are approximatley 10 – 15% smaller; Males also have a thickened tail base, a broader head and larger femoral pores.
When housing Golden Tegus its recommended to keep them in pairs or groups with only one male; the minimum size recommended for a pair of adult Golden Tegus is 88 x 64 x 60 inches (220 x 160 x 150 cm).

The terrarium should be setup as a rain forest environment consisting of a slightly damp substrate; such as a sand and compost mix; between 8 – 12 inches (20 – 30cm) deep to allow them to dig caves and burrow.

A large water dish should be supplied and the water changed daily; they enjoy a soak from time to time and will often go to the toilet in the water; ensure the water is changed straight away if this happens. You will also need to mist the terrarium with water daily and keep the humidity at 60-80%.

A number of hides will also be required; large roots, pieces of cork or specially made hides can be used to offer a range of hiding places. Its also recommend you create a humid hide to aid shedding; use damp moss in a hide and spray it with water daily.

Gold Tegu’s love the sun and will require a basking spot for warmth and UV radiation. The basking spot needs to be 95°F (35°C) and also offer UV Radiation using an appropriate UVB basking lamp. Daytime temperatures should be around 77-86°C (25-30°C) dropping to 71.5-75°F (22-24°C) at night. Lighting should be on for 12 – 14 hours per day.

A varied diet is best for Gold Tegu’s consisting of mice, rats, chicks, eggs, fish and meat. They will also benefit from some fruit. All food should be dusted with vitamin and calcium supplements.