House Lizard Lifespan – Probably you have come across the house lizard (commonly known as house gecko) in your house, yard, compound or zoo and wonder how long these vertebrates live. Could House Lizards live just like human beings or survive for a couple of weeks? So, what’s the house lizard’s lifespan?
The simple answer is, house lizard live for 4 to 6 years on average. However, this lifespan is subject to factors such as the care given, environment/climate and availability of basic needs for the house lizard.
Some house lizards may even live slightly longer than 6 years if the above factors are maintained. On the other hand, skin shedding problems and wounding occurrences may lower the lifespan of the house lizards.
What’s the House Lizard Lifespan?
The house lizard (also known as house gecko) has a life span of 4 to 6 years on average. This period is subjects to factors such as environment/climate, care given and availability of basic needs.
Most of the house lizards are faced with problems of wounding and skin shedding which lower their life span. For those house lizards that are well taken care of, they live slightly longer than 6 years.
The oldest House Lizard that ever lived recorded 27 years. House lizards are known to hatch in 60 days after which they grow to maturity in a couple of months (12 months) before breeding.
Related: What Does a Garden Lizard Eat?
General Factors that affect the Lifespan of House Lizard
The lifespan of the House lizard is affected by the following factors.
1. Environment/Climatic conditions.
House lizards are known to live in warm environment. Being cold blooded (ectothermic), these reptiles are adversely affected by change in temperature (sudden rise or fall). You must ensure that your pet house lizard has suitable/optimal warmth in its cage.
House lizards living in cold climates live lesser years as compare to those living in warm temperate climate. This is because cold environment makes house lizards less active (inactive) forcing them to hibernate till summer.
The environment full of predators such as cats, dogs, snakes, skinks etc. posts risks to life house lizards. Most of house lizards are fed on by their predators before they reach full maturity. Large water bodies easily drown the house lizards since they tend to walk on water instead of swimming.
Very hot climate/environment like desert will kill the house lizards faster due to their ectothermic nature. Their body enzymes (protein in nature) are denatured by high temperature leading to death.
2. Availability of basic needs.
House lizards requires basic needs such as proper habitat, food and water and right care. The habitat should entail nice cage with proper lighting and temperature. The cage should also have a hideout option for your house lizard and comfortable beddings (leaves or plant materials that does not cause discomfort).
The presence of food and water is vital for the survival of house lizard. Provide a variety of food such as crickets, ants, flies, leafhoppers, mealworms, grasshoppers, moths, soft shell beetles, pupae of butterflies and moths to your pet house lizard. Lizards that lack enough food and water die earlier (short life span – less than 18 months)
Provide the right amount of water for your house lizard in shallow bowls and make sure you replace it regularly. You can even provide a small pod in the cage for your house lizard to swim. Lack of right basic needs for your house lizard will reduce its life span.
3. Care given.
Proper care is vital for the house lizard if you need to boost its lifespan. Ensure that you take your pet house lizards to veterinary regularly. Monitor the health of your house lizard every 48 hours. Clean the cage regularly and quarantine new pet house lizards for the first one to two months.
Provide stimulation such as mist spay that cause house lizards to relax and active within the cage. You can have rocks, hollows, plants and hideouts within the cage. You can even hide food for your house lizard to make it do something else.
House lizards that have been given continuous proper care have lived even more than 6 years.
Health Problems That Affect the Lifespan of House Lizard
The following are problems that affects the lifespan of the House Lizards mostly:
1. Wounding Problem.
House lizards have soft skin that is easily wounded. Scratch from the walls or spikes on the house lizard’s skin cause mild to severe wounds.
Normally, House Lizards would prefer to roll on soft surfaces. You must ensure that the substrate in the cage does not cause injuries on landing or while moving about. You can also provide some soft beddings in your House lizard’s hideout.
House lizard are easily wounded when they fall due to their soft skin. Their skin also get ruptured by impact force. The scratch from the paws of the other lizards while playing cause back and skin wounds. These would leads to severe bleeding and their autotomy nature (self-amputation of tail in case of danger) may lead to death if not attended.
Lizards that are often wounded have lower lifespan (1 to 2 years) whereas those house lizards that are less wounded have longer lifespan (4 to 6 years). NB: In case your pet lizards are wounded, seek quick medication from your vet.
2. Skin Shedding Problem.
House Lizards do shed their skin often (after every 4 to 6 weeks). They, then, eat their skin such that you may not notice easily. However, their skin color change can be noticed.
Contrary, some house lizards have problem while shedding their skin. You will notice a thick/excess skin at the neck, back/dorsal, tail, at the head and around the eye due to the unshed skin. This skin cause extreme pain, unhappiness and continued discomfort to your house lizard.
Seek your veterinary assistance to help remove excess unshed skin on your pet house lizard.
3. Loss of Tail.
House lizards have tendency of losing their tail in case of attack as a defense mechanism. This cause the gecko to lose a lot of energy during replacement. In addition, the regeneration of the tail takes longer and makes your house lizard less active as compared to other tailed house lizards.
In case your house lizard undergoes through a several loss of tail, it will die earlier (less than 2 years) than its expected time even if normal care is carried out. Do lizards have bones?
To prolong the lifespan of your pet house lizard, do not hold it by the tail. Instead, lift your house lizard by the chest. Moreover, do not cause tension to your house lizard while in its cage too.
Weird Life Behaviors of House Lizard
House lizard has several weird behaviors that you may need to know. These behaviors include:
- Eating their own shed skin. Gecko eat their skin – using their teeth – as soon as it is shed. You may not notice that, however, you will find a change in its new skin color.
- Female is parthenogenesis. This mean that the female house lizard does not need a male to reproduce always. It have ability to reproduce without mating with male. However, it has been found that such offspring lack a certain gene needed for diversity.
- Lack eyelids and lick their eyes. Unlike human beings, house lizards do not have eyelids. Instead, their eyelids forms a colorless membrane that protect the eyes. To moisten the eyes when dry, the house lizard licks them often unlike in human where eyes are moisten automatically by the eyelids.
- Have autonomy capability. This means that house lizards can cause self-amputation of their tail. This is done when the gecko detects danger during which it uses this method as a defense mechanism since the predator your tend feed on the tail and let go the lizard.
Related: Are Lizards Poisonous?
House lizards have a lifespan of 4 to 6 years on average. However, this period is subject to factors such as care given, environment/climate and availability of basic needs for the house lizards.
Some House lizards may even live slightly longer than 6 years under proper care. Skin shedding problems and wounding occurrences may lower the lifespan of the house lizards. Consult your vet on your gecko care always.