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Tiger Ameiva (Ameiva Undulata) Care Sheets
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Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.29    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 10/05/2006

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Years Experience:

10 to 15 Years


Tiger Ameiva (Ameiva Undulata)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

The Green Ameiva (Ameiva Ameiva) and the Leopard Ameiva (Ameiva Chaitzami) both have similar care requirements though they tend a to grow a bit larger (especially Ameiva Ameiva)

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males can be determined from the characteristic jowls that other Teiids (Tegus) are known for. Head shape may also aid in identifying the sexes. Males tend to have much broader heads and the females are more streamlined. Male Green Ameivas are said to have blue on the inner thighs where the female would have none. This does not seem to be the case with Tiger Ameivas as all adult specimens I have seen (and kept) have had blue patches on the inner thighs.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

A substrate that they can burrow in is a must, I use a mix of Eco-Earth,shredded sphagnum moss, and a quality top soil
4-6" deep for Tiger Ameivas, for Green Ameiva I would recommend a 6"+ substrate depth as they are much larger.
Ameivas will drink from a dish and one should be available at all times. I use a medium sized,shallow dish garnished with some silk plant leaves so crickets wont drown in the dish. They will also lick water off cage decor during mistings
I have seen several care sheets saying that Ameivas will soak on occasion, I personally have never observed this with Tiger or Green Ameivas, in fact they seem to avoid getting in the water dish going as far as leaping over it

Lighting and UVB:

A brightly illuminated cage is recommended. UV lighting is needed as well. Branches are aligned so that the animals can get with in a few inches of the UV lighting. UV light should cover the length of the cage

Temperatures and Humidity:

Basking: up to about 110f
Gradient: 82-86f
Night: 68-78f a deep substrate will help insulate them
when temperatures drop below desired
levels. Mine have survived ambient cage
temps as low as 55f during winter power
outages with seemingly no ill effects

Humidity: 60-85% daily mistings and regularly moistening
down of the substrate will help maintain
the humidity if you live in a drier area

Heating and Equipment:

I use a 150 watt Zoomed halogen bulb directed down on a 12"x12"x6" wood box through out the year, in winter ceramic
heat emitters are used to maintain ambient temps both day and night, and for convenience I use an ESU power center surge protector/timer, if you live in an especially cold are an under tank to heater may also come in handy

Caging Provided:

I would recommend a 20 long tank minimum for any of the smaller species of Ameiva(except Greens 55 minimum) but these guys are runners so bigger is always better never forget this, these are very active lizards that need room to dart around the cage and for other natural behaviors.
I have kept as many as 2 males and 3 females in a 4’x2’x2’ terrarium, but when one of the males was removed there was much more harmony with in the cage.
For Tiger Ameivas I provide branches and logs as they will occasionally climb, Green Ameivas tend to be much more terrestrial



Description of Diet:

I use gut loaded crickets as the staple of the diet, along with wax worms and the wax moths, meal worms and meal worm beetles and dermistid beetles and their larvae, maggots,roaches,and flies(not wild caught), termites and mosquito killers have also been eaten.
items refused by Tiger Ameivas have been: Earthworms, quail eggs,pinkies (even scented with a wax worm), canned monitor/tegu diet
Greens Ameivas will accept the larger of the above items listed as well as some taking pinkies/fuzzies, earthworms, as well as quail eggs and seldomly fruit

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I use vitamins & calcium about every other week with the ’’shake and bake’’ method along with gutloading, gravid females receive calcium & vitamins 1-2 times a week


The water bowl needs to be changed everyday or every other day at the latest because they love to fling dirt into it, they produce alot of waste because they are such voracious eaters but in the substrate mix i use the feces deteriorate rapidly, daily misting and use of live plants helps maintain humidity, they need to be observed regularly because they can be aggressive towards each other, the cage walls should be covered in plants/ pieces of wood because they are very nervous and when frightened they will dash top speed into the side of the cage with a loud thunk though once they are well acclimated panic dashes into the cage walls are much less common usually only happening when working with in the cage close to the lizard or making a grab for one. an eye needs to be kept on their snouts because if the cage is too small they will rub their snouts raw rubbing it on the cage walls another reason to mask the walls in plants and other materials

Some Words on this Species:

These are interesting little teiids from central America/ south america that are very hyperactive alot of the time and are active hunters, i love watching mine ’’smell’’ the ground with their forked tongues and dig out a meal worm down in the substrate most aggressiveness is displayed through puffing up their bodies but some fighting/biting does occur and needs to be monitored for wounds,stress and possible separation of the animals. they also need alot of hide boxes because these are very nervous-look but don’t touch lizards but they are very interesting captives, and mine have learned that when the screen top opens there is a good chance for food so they will come out and hover around awaiting a meal even climbing up branches and plants to the top of the cage to take food from my hand, this is by no means an exact way to care for ameivas but more just what has been working for me
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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