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Toad-Headed Agama

Nicole Cosgrove

The Toad-Headed Agama is native to Africa’s rainforest regions. Agamas require special care, which makes them not as common as other pet lizard species, but if you have what it takes to be an excellent lizard owner, then read on! It has been discovered that this particular species has an exceptionally high intelligence level for reptiles! In addition, these little guys are one of the most beautiful types of lizards as they have a variety of bold colors and intricate patterns.divider-reptile

Quick Facts about Toad-Headed Agamas

Species Name: P. persicus
Common Name: Toad-headed agama
Care Level: Beginner
Lifespan: 2.5–3 years
Adult Size: 24 cm
Diet: arthropods, crickets, worms, spiders, and beetles
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Temperature & humidity: Daytime thermal gradient should range from 86-95° F with basking areas up to 104° F. Nighttime down to the mid-60s-low 70s

Do Toad-Headed Agamas Make Good Pets?

Toad-Headed agama is one of the most unusual-looking reptiles a person can own. With their heads raised off the ground and those curious-looking eyes, these lizards are always watching their surroundings. They’re not your standard “cute” pet! However, there’s a lot more to these guys than meets the eye.

In addition to their active and inquisitive nature, agamas make good pets because they tend to be smaller. This is a great alternative for those that do not have adequate space.

Toad-Headed agamas are very social animals that live in large groups and get stressed out when kept alone.

Their temperament is steady and calm, even with the most inexperienced of owners. They’re peaceful animals that rarely bite or hiss. Even though they’re generally docile, agamas have a wild side to them, just like any other reptile. If provoked, you will find that this species can become aggressive as well!

Appearance

Toad-Headed Agama is a small arboreal lizard with large triangular-shaped heads and long tails. They have dark brown scales on the back of their body, which vary in color depending on location. There are black bands on the side of their tail. Males tend to be more colorful than females, but this difference is hardly noticeable unless they’re seen side-by-side.divider-reptile

How to Take Care for a Toad-Headed Agama?

Toad-Headed Agama is a pet that will need minimal work to take care of.

Habitat, Tank Conditions, Tank Setup, and Substrate

Habitat

Toad-Headed Agama, sometimes called Toad’s Head Agamas, are primarily found in desert-like areas. They can be kept at about 93 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 78 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Toad-Headed Agamas need lots of light to survive.

The toad-headed agama does not like being in enclosed spaces with no access to natural light. Toads Head Agamas are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time on the ground or in trees, so they should be provided with “high” perches at least twelve inches off the ground.

You can give them branches to climb on and place rocks in the tank for them to hide.

Tank Conditions

Toad-Headed Agama tank conditions include lots of vegetation and a large surface area for climbing and basking. Toads Head Agamas need a lot of humidity, so they should have large water dishes changed every other day with de-chlorinated or rainwater to ensure the tank is well maintained.

Toads Head Agamas also require lots of climbing space, so you should provide them with vertical slabs and large branches to climb on. Toads Head Agammas are arboreal, so their tanks need a lot of ground space and digging and basking.

Lighting

Agamas require UV lighting for the synthetization of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient reptile owners need to understand as it may be a factor in preventing metabolic bone disease (MBD).

Substrate

Toad-Headed Agamas are terrestrial animals, so they require the land in their tank foraging to move around on top of the ground surface. The substrate should be at least 12 inches deep to accommodate an adult Toad-Headed Agama. If you are housing more than one Toad-Headed Agamas, then an 18-inch layer of sand or other loose material will suffice as long as it is all at the same level.

We recommend a substrate that does not retain water, such as sand or pea gravel. Toads also like loose substrates because they can burrow in the ground to create a hiding spot or lay eggs.

Tank Recommendations

Tank Type Terrarium or plastic container
Lighting Fluorescents emitting UVB
Heating 86-95 F with basking areas up to 104 F
Best Substrate Beach sand or pea gravel

Feeding Your Toad-Headed Agama

Toad-Headed Agamas are omnivores and are more interested in live food. Toad-Headed Agamas do not like to eat vegetables or fruit, but Toad-Headed Agamas will eat anything bug-related, including crickets, mealworms, and roaches.

Toad-Headed Agamas can be fed every day because they need a lot of protein to grow. Toad-Headed Agama diet should consist of 40% insects, 30% greens, 20% fruit, and 10% calcium supplement. Toad-Headed Agamas need vegetables and fruits!

Give your Toad-Hearted Agama veggies (the only ones it will eat) about three times a week as a treat. Toads can go wild eating excess vegetables, so don’t overfeed. Toad-Headed Agamas are nocturnal, but they also can be fed during the day.

Diet Summary

Fruits: 20%
Insects: 40%
Supplements: Calcium 10%
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Keeping Your Toad-Headed Agama Healthy

Toad-Headed Agamas will do best if they are kept on a warm terrarium with many plants, branches, and hiding places to make them feel comfortable. Toad-Headed Agamas enjoy being on the warm ground or in the foreground of their enclosure.

Toad-Headed Agamas need at least a 70 degree Fahrenheit temperature and a lot of sunlight to be healthy and happy. Toad-Headed Agamas require minor handling by people because they are sensitive creatures, so you shouldn’t pick them up unless necessary!

Toads can breathe through their skin, so Toad-Headed Agamas do not need to drink water through their mouth. Toads are omnivores and enjoy eating insects!

Common Health Issues

  • Reptile Respiratory Disease (RHD)
  • Calcium deficiency

Lifespan

Toad-Headed Agamas can live for up to 3 years if well taken care of. Toads in captivity typically live much longer than Toads in the wild. Their lifespan depends on many factors, but most Toads will die prematurely due to human error or disease. As Toads grow older, they slow down and become less active, which is normal. They are most vulnerable when young and old, so it is essential to provide a habitat where They can catch their food and be happy and healthy.

Breeding

The Toad-Headed Agama has a lifespan of about 2. -3 years. They reach adulthood in the middle to late teens and can have up to five clutches of eggs per year, each grip consisting of three or four eggs. It takes at least six months for toad-headed agamas to produce eggs and sexually mature, but they will continue to foster throughout their life.

Headed Agama eggs hatch after about three months, and the Toad-Headed Agama juveniles will stay with their mother for another two to four years. During this time, they learn hunting and survival skills.divider-reptile

Is The Toad-Headed Agama Friendly? Our Handling Advice

Toad-Headed Agama is not naturally aggressive and can be tame when handled regularly. Toads will become more docile with handling, but there’s no guarantee they’ll never try to bite or scratch you.

Toad-Headed Agamas have a jaw like an alligator, so you mustn’t provoke them into biting by poking at them or picking them up with a quick grab. Toad-Headed Agamas have powerful jaws and teeth, so they can do severe damage to you if provoked!

Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect?

Toad-Headed Agama’s shedding and brumation cycles are very similar to those of other reptiles. This is true with how they deal with both the desiccation (drying out) process and their metabolic rate slowing down during this time for a period of dormancy.

They will need to shed periodically to ensure they can grow. They will go through a shedding process similar to sloughing off dead skin cells, and then the new growth of hair will appear underneath. They are typically seen as being nocturnal animals because their metabolic rates slow down significantly during this time. Toad-headed agamas are also very sensitive to light and may retreat from it if they’re being exposed.

How Much Do Toad-Headed Agamas Cost?

Toad-Headed Agama is available on the internet from various pet shops, online stores, and even grocery stores. They usually cost around $22 to $220, depending on where you buy them.

Care Guide Summary

Pros
  • They are easy to care for
  • They prefer moist, humid environments
  • They are usually docile creatures.
Cons
  • Short Lifespan
  • They are not always easy to find
  • They need heat, humidity, and UVB lighting provided for them.
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Conclusion

We think you will find this blog post informative enough that you now feel confident adding another member into your family’s menagerie! Toad-Headed Agama is not the most common pet store reptile, but they make a great starter lizard for trying something new. These lizards have a lifespan of about 2.5-3 years and can be kept in just as many different types of habitats or tanks. They’re also easy to care for, so if you’re looking for an alternative pet, don’t pass up on these guys! If you find one outside your budget range, we recommend checking with local breeders before entirely giving up hope.


Featured Image Credit: Kristian Bell, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.