20 Interesting Red Tegu Facts

A beautiful red tegu, Brazil
A beautiful red tegu, Brazil

Red tegu, also known as Argentine Red Tegu Lizard or Argentine Tegu, is a lizard species native to western Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. This is one of the most popular animals in the pet trade because of its ease of care and docile nature. Here is a list of interesting red tegu facts:

red tegu
red tegu

Image Source: Wikimedia

Red Tegu Facts

  • The scientific name of the red tegu is Tupinambis rulescens. It can grow up to 4.5 feet (1.4 metres long) and weigh up to 25 pounds.
  • The red tegu is a reptile with an omnivorous dietary habit that primarily feeds on insects, rodents, fruits, and vegetables. It prefers to thrive in grasslands, forests, and swamps. The juveniles and hatchlings require a diet rich in protein that consists of between 70% and 80% invertebrates, mealworms, roaches, and crickets.
  • This amazing species of giant lizard is found across South America, especially in western Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It is a member of the Tupinambis genus, contains six other tegu species, and is known for its placid disposition.
  • Tegus are known for their size and intelligence and prefer to live in South America’s woods and rainforests. The lizard species is very friendly; however, they need specific care and dedication because of their enormous size and unique care.
  • The hatchling of red tegu is brownish-green with black lines running the length of them, and there are many shattered white streaks running the length of them. The juveniles will become crimson in colour, and the adult one will turn brighter crimson than women do. The male species of red tegu will also acquire prominent jowls.
  • Talking about adults, adults are mostly red in colour and have greater vibrancy than females. There are certain adult species that have white marks on them. A long and prehensile tail that can grip items, along with huge eyes with yellow irises and a forked tongue.
  • The mating season is before hibernation, and females then begin to lay eggs. The process of mating recommences two weeks after they emerge from hibernation and continues thereafter. The female species will lay between 12 and 30 leathery eggs. There are also instances where they have been seen concealing their eggs within termite mounds.

Also Read: 20 Interesting Black Rain Frog Facts

  • The hibernation of red tegu is from November through March, and the precise date can change according to the tegu’s unique characteristics and the environment. The average lifespan of a red tegu is between 15 and 20 years. It can be found in numerous environments, such as savannas, marshes, meadows, rainforests, and open fields, that are home to these tegus.
  • These terrestrial and nocturnal creatures enjoy a moderate environment and can easily hybridise with the Argentine black and white tegu.
  • Red tegu can be a food pet, but they need a large cage that closely resembles native habitat. When they become solder, they need a space that is at least 6 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet tall. A temperature gradient is required in the cage, with a colder end of 75–80°F and a basking region of 100–110°F. In the cage, there should be hiding places, such as fake hides, thick branches, and rocks.
  • Infants and young children should be fed as much as possible in 20 to 30 minutes, either every day or every other day. The adult can eat once or twice a week, roughly enough food to fill a dog dish for five to ten minutes.
  • To keep the red tegu helathy at home, you should locate an exotic veterinarian in your region since they require specialised treatment that cannot be provided by normal animal clinics or specialists.
  • Red tegus like honey and brown; that’s why they are frequently observed demolishing beehives. The colour of the adult species changes as they get older. Egglings are usually brownish-green in colour with black stripes, but adults turn a bright red.
  • Red tegus have an amazing adaptation where they can climb trees and rocks and catch their prey. Also, because of their prehensile tails, they can hold onto items. Salvator rufescens (Red Tegu) is a species of Squamata in the family New World runners and relies on running to move around.
  • The price of the red tegu varies between $500 and $2,000 based on several criteria, such as age, genetics, breeder reputation, and location.
  • As of now, no subspecies of the red tegu has been described by the researchers, and these diurnal reptiles have the ability to run on their hind legs and are good swimmers.
  • Red tegus can be tamed, recognise their owners in captivity, and be amazing pets. There can be instances when red tigers can ignore food because of social interaction.
  • The aggression can be seen among each other, and they are seen fighting with any potential predators. They can dive to a depth of 22 minutes submerged, and after that, they need to return to the surface of the water to breathe.
  • The juvenile red tegu can grow rapidly and can reach sexual maturity within two to three years. If you are giving a healthy diet, the young ones can grow at a rate of more than one inch per week.
  • Tegus have strong claws, which help them dig burrows and find food. Their sharp teeth and strong jaws make it easy for them to chew meat.

Featured image source: Rob Milsom

These are the 20 interesting red tegu facts. Kindly share and post your comments.

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