Steppe Runner Lizards are friendly little creatures who make good pets even for beginning reptile enthusiasts.
Their native habitats are sandy, arid regions of Romania, the Ukraine and Southwestern Russia.
A full-grown Steppe Runner Lizard is 6 inches long. While new as a pet, this lizard is believed to live up to 10 years in captivity. Captive breeding has produced interesting patterns although colors vary, some light and others dark.
Housing requirements are a minimum 10 x 20 inch enclosure for one lizard, but larger is always better. Steppe Runners are ground lizards and don’t need much climbing area. Rocks, logs and shelters for hiding and basking can be carefully placed so they don’t cause injury. If your lizards are female it’s best to keep only one male with them.
The enclosure should have a warm side and a cool side. During the day the cool side temperature should be 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit and the warm side, 100 degrees. Use a basking light or heat emitter overhead along with UVB lighting to provide light daily. Night temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the cooler side and 75-80 degrees for the warmer side. Use a screen to enclose the top of the housing.
Keeping the housing clean is a relatively easy chore. Shredded aspen, recycled paper or reptile and can be used on the floor of the enclosure. Spot clean and replace every 3-4 months.
Use a dish for feeding your Steppe Runner. Meals consist of crickets and mealworms with occasional waxworms. They are fed daily or every other day. Supplement with a vitamin/calcium mixture containing D3. Provide fresh water daily in a dish that can’t be easily tipped over. Although they require low humidity, this lizard enjoys a warm water misting every other day.
Allow your lizard to become accustomed to his new surroundings for a few days. When you are ready to handle him, be sure to support the lizard’s entire body. They enjoy resting in the palm of your hand without fingers wrapped around them. To ensure the lizard doesn’t fall, hold him close to the ground. Try short 10 minute sessions once or twice a day at first. Steppe Runner Lizards are calm making it easier to handle them.
These lizards are diurnal (awake during the day) and you can enjoy watching their antics.