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Abronia graminea Caresheet

HISTORY:

Abronia graminea are small arboreal lizards found in Mexico and Guatemala. These lizards are on the endangered species list due to deforestation in their natural habitats. The Abronia graminea range in color based on the type of UVB light they receive. Lizards who can be exposed to natural sunlight on a daily basis will be a vibrant green color. Whereas, lizards kept under artificial UVB appear to be more teal.
 

SIZE & LIFESPAN:

When Abronia graminea are born, they are no bigger than a pinky finger. They are long and slender with their tail making up for half their length. An adult Abronia graminea will grow to be about 12” from snout to the tip of their tail. These animals have only recently become popular in the captive bred pet trade, so we aren't sure about the exact lifespan on these lizards. It is believed that they can live somewhere between 15-20 years in captivity.
 

HEAT & LIGHTING:

The ambient temperature for an Abronia graminea enclosure should be between 70-78° with a basking spot of 80-82°. The temperature can drop into the 60's with no issue. These lizards prefer cooler temperatures and do very well at room temperature. We use a 25 watt heat bulb to create a warm basking spot in the tank. Be sure that you get the lowest wattage heat bulb possible so that you do not overheat the lizard's cage. Younger Abronia should be kept on the cooler side. They are much more sensitive to heat, so we do not provide them any supplemental heat until they reach a year old. Alongside your heat bulb, you will need to provide your lizard with 12 hours of UVB lighting in order to keep a healthy, happy chameleon. Tubular UVB lights are far more effective than coil bulbs, but nothing is a substitute for natural sunlight. If your climate allows it, try to get your Abronia out every so often so that the lizard can absorb natural rays from the sun. We recommend the Arcadia UVB lights for tropical species. Be sure to use a light fixture with a reflector inside of it so that the light from the bulb is directed downward into the enclosure.
 
 
 
 
                    

DIET:

Abronia graminea do well on a varied diet consisting on crickets, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, horned worms, wax worms (treat only), and butter worms. Dust all insects with a high-quality Calcium D3 supplement every other feeding. Our favorite brand is Sticky Tongue Farms Minerall Indoor Supplement. Be sure to dust with a vitamin supplement once a week to insure that the lizard is getting all of its proper nutrition. We recommend Rep-Cal Herptivite as a great vitamin supplement. Place all prey items in an elevated bowl so that it is easier for the chameleon to find its food. We place around 10-15 insects in the bowl in the morning after misting the enclosure. Remove any uneaten insects out of the cage at the end of the day. If the lizard is eating all the insects in the bowl and looking for more, then increase the amount of insects slowly until the Abronia is leaving a few uneaten ones in the bowl.
 

HOUSING:

An adult Abronia graminea should live in a cage no smaller than 24”x24”x36”. We keep babies in this size enclosure as soon as they are born. We have never had any issues with them finding food in a larger enclosure and have found them exploring and hunting throughout their enclosure during the day. They need a screen cage to insure proper ventilation. Abronia can easily stress out and should never be housed together. Even a breeding pair should only be kept together for the mating process and then separated afterwards. Any Abronia housed together will be put through unnecessary stress.
 
 

BEDDING:

Bedding can range from a peat moss and eco earth mixture to something as simple at reptile carpet or paper towel. We prefer to use a mixture of peat moss and eco earth in our enclosures because it helps bring up the humidity in the enclosure. If you decide to use carpet or paper towels, we recommend misting the cage an extra time or two to make sure that a proper humidity level is maintained.
 

DECOR:

Abronia's needs to have coverage to make it feel safe and secure in its enclosure. Be sure to provide vines leading throughout the cage so that the lizard can travel the cage with ease. Be sure to have some vines that are 6-8” away from the heat and UVB lights so that the lizard can bask under them. Abronia live in tree hollows in the wild, and enjoy big pieces of cork round in their enclosures. We recommend using live plants in your Abronia's enclosure because it will not only raise the humidity, but it will also purify the air. We use either Bromelaids, Ficus or Pothos plants in all our Abronia cages. Be sure to rinse off the plant's leaves and re-pot any plants so that there is no way for your lizard to come in contact with pesticides or fertilizer.
 

HUMIDITY:

Abronia graminea live in a very wet and humid climate. The humidity in the cage should remain between 50-80%. These lizard's are very sensitive when it comes to humidity. You need to be sure you mist twice daily to insure proper humidity. If your house is on the dry side, you may need to invest in a fogger or automatic misting system. We recommend giving the Abronia a shower once a week for approximately 30 mins. This is done by placing a branch in your shower and letting the lizard climb through the mist and water to re-hydrate.
 

 

WATER:

Care must be taken when picking the kind of water to use. We recommend using spring water, but, if you need to use your own tap water, you will need to use de-chlorinator in order to remove any impurities from the water. If the lizard is not getting enough water from misting the enclosure, you'll want to install a drip system that drips into a potted plant or large bowl.

 

HANDLING/TEMPERAMENT:

As with any reptile, you should not handle Abronia graminea on a daily basis. Abronia graminea are more docile than some other species of lizards, but will get agitated if you handle them too long. Abronia graminea will tolerate handling, as long as you do not try to grab them roughly.
 

CLEANING:

We recommend spot cleaning the cage at least once a week and doing a full bedding change and tank cleaning once a month. Every week look for poo, dead insects, shed, and food smears on the ground or glass and remove it from the enclosure. When cleaning the entire cage out, first remove all bedding and wipe down all surfaces with hot soapy water. Put the bowls, fake foliage and decor into a bucket with warm water and a capful of bleach. Let it soak for 15 minutes and then rinse off the items and place them in bucket of hot water. Once the decorations have soaked for 15 minutes, rinse them off again and then they are ready to go back into the tank once cleaning is complete. Then you want to be sure to disinfect the tank with either bleach, vinegar or a commercial reptile cleaning product. Once you have disinfected the tank, thoroughly rinse your tank out with hot water until it is completely free of any cleaning products.
 

SUPPLY LIST:

☐ Screened Cage 18”x18”x36”
☐ Elevated dish for feeding
☐ Crickets or Dubia Roaches
☐ Vine or bridges
☐ Cork rounds or similar hides
☐ Mister Bottle or Spray Bottle
☐ Thermometer & Hygrometer
☐ Reptile Water Dripper (Optional)
☐ Leaf Foliage
☐ Live Plants (Pothos, Bromelaids, & Ficus)
☐ Cage liner, tile, or eco earth
☐ UVB 5.0 strip light
☐ 25 watt heat bulb