Argentine Tegu Facts

It's time to learn more about lizards and now I will talk about the Argentine Tegu facts.

As one of the top reptile favorites, the Argentine Tegu is a giant lizard which originates in Argentina, as its name implies. 

Argentine Tegu

The Argentine Tegu is also called Argentine giant tegu due to the fact that that they are the largest tegu in the world. Aside from these things, here are some of the facts that you need to know about Argentine Tegu.

Fact about the Argentine Tegu

Natural Habitat

The natural habitat of Argentine Tegus are the savannas and grasslands which are located near the rainforests. Most of the time, they are above or below the ground and they rarely stay on the trees.

When they are below the ground, what they usually do is make a burrow where they can stay to protect themselves from extreme heat in as much as it also provides them the level of humidity that they need.

Physical Characteristics

Just like any other animals, the Argentine tegus are born as small lizards but they grow so fast and so large, thus they are recognized as the largest tegu lizard in the world. Male Argentine tegus grow as long as four and a half feet.

Female Argentine tegus, on the other hand, grow as long as three feet. Argentine tegus have a patterned and beaded skin. Usually, the pattern is stripes or black and white dots.

Moreover, two lines of yellow dots are visible from the back of their neck to their tail. When the Argentine Tegus are still young, their color is green with black marks but as they eventually grow, their green color turns to white.

Argentine Tegus can live as long as 15 years given that they are well taken cared off and are provided with their necessities.

Temperament and Handling

When Argentine tegus are trained to interact and be handled at a young age, they will be tame and friendly as they grow old not unless they are eating. They do not want to be disturbed when eating and they have the tendency to go wild when disturbed.

When they are not eating, interacting with the people near them is an enjoyable activity for them. The younger the tegu was started to be handled, the higher the chance is that you will have a great bonding with it. Furthermore, it will also act better when handled by other people.

Naturally, Argentine tegus are in groups which means that they can be placed in groups in just one cage. But ideally, there should only be three Argentine tegus in one cage and one male should only be in each cage. This is because there is a tendency that they will fight if there is more than one male in a cage.


Due to their size, Argentine tegus require a large enclosure where they will stay. The recommended minimum size of the cage where they should be staying is six feet long and two feet tall for a cage of one male. The enclosure of one female can be smaller since their size is generally smaller too.

They need such a large place to stay since Argentine tegus are very active. If you have a large space in your house, a closet-sized enclosure is even better. The place where they should be staying should be well ventilated.

If the place where you are staying has a weather which is similar to the weather of their natural habit, then they can be placed outside the house once they have fully grown. 


Argentine tegus need two light: Visible White Light and Ultraviolet Light.

Visible White Light - A visible white light can be achieved by combining fluorescent and incandescent light fixtures. Such combination has the capacity to provide visible white light to the whole enclosure.

Ultraviolet Light - Argentine tegus does not only need white light but they also need UVB as well. UVB is a spectrum of ultraviolet light which naturally comes from the sun which is essential for Argentine tegus to make Vitamin D.

If the Argentine Tegu is placed indoors which means that they do not have an access to sunlight, then they should be provided with special full spectrum lights with UVB in order for them to have the dose of UVB light that they need.

These UVB lights are sometimes called black lights. Keep in mind that incandescent or fluorescent lights do not produce UVB. The enclosure of Argentine tegus should at least have 290 to a 320-nanometer range of black light. There are available lights which produce UVB alone and there are also lights available which produce both UVB and white light.

Keep in mind that it is impossible for UV light to pass through a glass which means that an overhead UVB light is used in the enclosure, a not too fine wire mesh should be used. Ideally, the measurement of the UVB light source should not be more than 18 inches.


Since Argentine tegus are cold-blooded, they need heat supplement in order for them to digest properly. The ideal temperature for them during the day is around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit while their ideal temperature during the night is cooler by 5 to 10 percent of their preferred daytime temperature.

If the place where they are staying is too cold, they will have a hard time digesting their food and if they can not properly digest their food, then they will become sick. Preferably, their place should have a temperature gradient where they can stay whenever it is too cold for them.

Primary Heat Source

The presence of primary heat source to the place where the Argentine Tegu is staying is very important in order to maintain the correct temperature inside the enclosure. Most probably, the best primary heat source is a combination of incandescent lights.

Incandescent lights should be turned off at night and if need, another heat source should be readily available for use. If the place where they are staying is large enough, a thermostat or space heater should be provided.

Secondary Heat Source

A secondary heat source is needed in order to provide their house a temperature gradient. The secondary heat source should cover 25 to 30 percent only of the total area of the enclosure. A 30 to 75 watts incandescent light or a basking light is a good source of the secondary heat source.

Water and Humidity

The ideal humidity that should be maintained inside their cage is around 70 to 80 percent. The enclosure should be sprinkled with water on a regular basis to keep it moisturized. If ever there is a substrate hidden, it should be moisturized heavier. In keeping the enclosure moisturized, make sure that it is maintained at the correct level.


Ideally, the substrate of the enclosure where the Argentine tegu will stay should be those that can hold moisture. Such substrates include cypress mulch, orchid bark and the rest.

Another important factor that should be kept in mind is that the Argentine tegus should be able to dig in in the substrate which means that it should also be deep enough for them to burrow.


The diet of Argentine tegus mainly consists of insect and meat since they are omnivores. To be more specific, they should be fed with crickets, mealworms, and waxworms.

High calcium fruits is also a good addition to their diet. Adult rodents should never be given to them as it might cause them fur impaction. They should have their weekly dose of vitamins in as much as their food should be dusted with calcium powder.

Undeniably, Argentine doesn’t only have a great measurement but they also make a great pet. They may have a lot of requirement but sure enough every single thing that is invested to them is worth it.

I hope you liked the article about the Argentine Tegu Fact, please share with your friends.

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