A garden lizard is a type of reptile that can be found in trees, grass, or bushes around your home. Garden lizards are the most recognized term for these lizards, but they have a few other names as well? Changeable Lizard (Calotes Versicolor), oriental garden lizard, eastern garden lizard, and Agamid Lizard are all names.
Some lizards prefer to eat ants, while others seek out bird nests to eat the eggs. Lizards like the Komodo dragon are known for devouring their younger prey.
The majority of food these garden lizards eat around the home environment are snails, crickets, caterpillars, and small invertebrates or other insects for survival.
In addition, insects like ants, cockroaches, ants, and grasshoppers are eaten by the oriental garden lizard. However, this isn’t all they eat as leafy greens and fruits are fine, and you can notice these impacting your vegetable garden sometimes.
In our guide, you can learn more about what does lizards eat to survive and what impact they can have around your home environment. (Read Do Ants Have Wings)
By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of these reptiles and what do lizards eat in a natural setting so you can keep them away from your green vegetables.
What Do Small Garden Lizards Eat?
These garden lizards have teeth they use to grab their prey; despite their small size, however, they don’t rip their prey apart while they eat; instead, they swallow it whole.
As a result, garden lizards, especially the inexperienced, are prone to choking if their prey is too large for them to swallow.
These little cold-blooded reptiles eat a variety of foods.
- Baby Snakes: Garden lizards will eat freshly hatched nonpoisonous snakes, and some species can like to eat snake eggs.
- Butterflies: Lizards love eating these brightly colored creatures. So, if you have lots of these lizards in your garden, they could gobble up your healthy butterfly community.
- Lizard Eggs: If lizards struggle to locate enough food around your backyard and go hungry, what do lizards like to eat to fend off hunger? Their own eggs can make a meal if there are no creatures near to eat. They need to be quite hungry to do this, though.
- Cockroaches: One thing that garden lizards love around the home is when they munch on cockroaches. Garden lizards eat roaches as if they were a TV snack.
- Smaller lizards: When males search for mates, they can eat other small lizards to show their dominance.
- Fruits: A garden lizard can take a liking to fruits. Berries are the favorite of garden lizards. Besides just the flesh, the fruits are an excellent source of water.
Depending on the species of lizard, they can eat larger prey as this is based on their size. Moving on from worms, they can eat flies, spiders, and crickets that offer more meat than smaller insects.
One other thing lizards need to survive is a healthy supply of water. Garden lizards can’t survive without water, as it helps keep their skin moist. Yet, they can’t thrive in areas with too much water as they can easily drown.
What Can You Feed Garden Lizards?
Here you can find species you will most likely find around your yard and their eating habits. In contrast to one species around New England, you can find more species roaming around your gardens in the Southwest. (Learn How to Get Rid of Ants in Yard)
It is typically the warm regions, the more chance you have of sharing your homes with these small creatures.
In the Southeast region, you can see these creatures are docile because of the temperature, and because of this, they are quiet, rarely bite humans, and can be found for sale in some pet stores.
Since they can change skin color in their habitat for camouflage, they can often be called chameleons. Flies and crickets are their primary food insects.
Five Line Skinks: You can find five-lined skinks down the Eastern Seaboard and up to Canada. It will also be the sole species of garden lizard you will find in Massachusetts.
It’s a tiny lizard that will grow to approximately 8 inches long, and you will find them in an open woodland habitat where the lizard eat beetles, spiders, and other insects they can forage.
Prairie Skink: The prairie skink is a rarer species found in the northern USA and Canada and is protected in many areas.
The animal will feed on insects and invertebrates rather than fruit from the open grasslands near where it lives.
Eastern Collared Lizard: In the dry parts of the Southwest, you’ll find the home to the Eastern Collared Lizard. It comes with a bright orange head and a turquoise body. They can move quickly and can run on their hind legs in case of danger.
The lizard eats the same as other lizards yet is more likely to feed on smaller lizards.
Desert Spiny Lizard: Another common lizard found in the Southwest is the desert spiny lizard, which is found living in Utah, Nevada, and California. It carries a black band around its neck and has an enormous head for the size of the garden lizard.
The lizard can change skin color from green in response to temperature as it can absorb more heat when it needs it. You’ll find this garden lizard feeding on foods such as caterpillars, centipedes, and small lizards in its home habitat. (Read Natural Way To Kill Ants)
Desert Iguana: You might come across a Desert Iguana if you live in the Southwest scrublands. Unlike the previous species, these lizards are herbivores that eat the native flora of the area, mainly the creosote bush.
Western Banded Gecko: You can find this gecko is nocturnal and hunts for baby scorpions and insects at night. On summer nights, they can cross your backyard in search of food. The reptile can imitate a scorpion for self-defense.
Is Food Different from House Lizard and Garden Lizard?
To keep wild and pet lizards healthy, they need a well-balanced diet. Prey and food variety provide nutrition and enrichment for the animal.
The diet varies according to the stage of their life where the levels of nutrients vary. For example, baby lizards eat more food in relation to their body weight than adults could.
Small insects and bugs are eaten by house lizards, whereas garden lizards eat snails, insects, crickets, caterpillars, and small invertebrates.
Lizards of both types will eat a wide variety of foods, from leafy greens to insects. As a result, you’ll find them a diverse group of reptiles living in a range of habitats, behaviors, and hunting methods. Even if there are one species that has a small range, there are distinct ways of hunting for prey.
All lizards belong to one of four feeding groups. Like the leopard geckos, anoles, and house geckos, insectivores will be the most common types of pet lizards. Because of this, they eat invertebrates, crickets, roaches, and mealworms as pets.
In comparison, flies, crickets, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers and ants, and other small insects are eaten by wild lizards in the wild.
Bearded dragons, blue-tongued skinks, and crested geckos are common species of omnivores who eat plants and meat. Based on the species, the proportion of plants to the meat they eat can vary between 10% to 80%. In addition, eggs, berries, fruits, leaves, grass, and small animals are eaten by omnivorous lizards.
Do Garden Lizards Eat Vegetables?
Young lizards require a well-balanced diet. They are establishing their muscular and skeletal systems during their first few months. Garden lizards eat insects and a few fruits and vegetables as babies. The best insects for baby lizards are flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and bottle fly spikes.
You might wonder what do baby lizards eat because they grow faster and eat more frequently than adults. They can’t eat the same prey as adults and can’t survive as long without eating because of their smaller size. Garden species of all sizes should be fed daily.
The same rules apply to feeding baby lizards as they do to any other reptile. They should be fed from a small bowl or dish because they aren’t as good at catching live prey.
This makes hunting easier for your lizard, keeps prey from escaping, and allows you to keep track of how much food they eat. You should also make sure that every prey is smaller than the distance between their eyes to avoid choking.
If you have garden lizards, they can eat small vegetables, yet the amount is minimal.
You can use these reptiles around your garden as a beneficial addition to keeping spiders and other insects that harm your veggies under control. A garden lizard needs a home, so you can build a shelter where they can go. (Learn How to Make DIY Insect Repellent)
From here, you can feed the reptiles mealworms and small bits of fruit, so they won’t attack your plants.
The lizards won’t bite and will hide rather than sink their teeth into a human. A garden lizard can be a great help around the garden, and they also add something visually appealing to look at rather than regular pets.