Red headed agamas are beautiful animals that are popular with many pet owners. While the male has a brightly-colored red head, a female agama is mostly gray.
This being said, their colors can vary which also got them the famous nickname of rainbow agama.
Their medium size and specific care needs make a redheaded agama a fantastic intermediate pet for reptile lovers.
This practical care guide covers everything you need to know about how to look after your red-headed agama.
Enclosure For A Red Headed Agama
Similar to other medium-sized lizard species, red head agamas need a lot of space. A single adult requires a minimum enclosure size of 40 gallons.
A red headed agama pair can stay in an enclosure that is 100 gallons or larger.
For agamas, you need to keep in mind that floor space is essential, so your cage can be only 18 inches high if needed.
While you can keep two female agamas together, male pairs typically fight which can lead to serious injuries.
That’s why it is a good idea to only keep female agama groups together in a large cage. If you plan on breeding, then you can add a male to the group at any time.
Shelter For Red Headed Agama
Redhead agamas love hiding, so it is important that your lizards have plenty of shelter. We recommend a minimum of three hide boxes dotted throughout the enclosure.
A suitable hide box doesn’t have to be expensive. You can provide small cardboard boxes. Alternatively, you can also get rock or clay hides from your local reptile shop.
When it comes to good agama hides, you simply need to ensure that they are stable enough, so your agama doesn’t injure itself.
Cleaning An Agama Enclosure
Cleaning after your pet may be tedious but it is an essential part of pet ownership. Red headed agama are relatively low-maintenance.
You need to spot-clean their enclosure each day and provide fresh water.
Make sure that you take out all uneaten insects before you turn the lights off. This prevents the formation of mold growth and diseases.
In addition to the daily clean-up, you need to replace the loose substrate in your lizard’s cage every 4 months. That’s also a good opportunity to replace any soiled newspaper.
It is also a good idea to remove everything from the cage once a year and clean out the enclosure properly.
Substrate For Agama Enclosure
The bottom of your agama’s enclosure should be covered with a calcium-based sand substrate. This resembles the African scrublands where red-headed agama come from.
If you prefer to make the cage look more natural, then you can also add some wood chips to the sand.
Alternatively, newspaper and peat moss are two cheaper options that work just as well as sand.
Similar to other reptile species, red headed agama are exothermic which means that you need an external heat source to keep warm.
Your agama requires at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 90 degrees Fahrenheit over the day when it is basking.
A standard reptile bulb with up to 80 watts would work well here or you can use a reptile heat mat that keeps the bottom of the cage at a cozy temperature for your lizard.
Keep in mind that the light source inside the cage also creates additional heat, so make sure that you can easily regulate the temperature or get an automatic thermostat.
Lighting For A Red Head Agama
Agamas love natural light as it helps their bodies to produce vitamin C. But as they are always inside, you need to provide a good light source, such as a UVB bulb.
The bulb shouldn’t be further away than 12 inches to ensure that your pet gets all the light it needs to create essential vitamin D.
Red headed agama originally come from the African desert which means they don’t need a lot of water. Humidity levels between 10% and 20% are sufficient.
While these pet lizards can live with a minimal amount of water, you should still provide a small bowl of fresh water every day.
Red Headed Agama Diet
Agama typically eat insects, such as butterworms, superworms, mealworms and crickets. They need feeding with large portions up to three times per week.
An adult agama can eat maximum 10 superworms and 20 crickets in one sitting. That’s a larger amount than some other lizards of the same size.
It is essential that the crickets and any other food you give to your agama are smaller than your lizard’s head. This prevents choking and injuries.
We also recommend dusting all your agama’s meals with calcium powder as reptiles often struggle with calcium deficiency.
Handling Red Headed Agama
Agama are relatively tame when compared to other lizards. However, it is a good idea to get your pet used to handling slowly over time.
Allow your agama to walk freely around on your arm or your hand. Plus, keep any other pets away when you take your agama out of its enclosure as they could injure your agama.
When handling in agama, it is important to remember that you shouldn’t ever pull its tail as it may drop it in defense.
Although they can grow their tail back, it wouldn’t look as nice as the original.
Breeding Red Headed Agama
It’s relatively straightforward to breed red head agamas. They can produce up to 20 eggs in one laying, and some agama couples lay eggs even multiple times a year.
You can introduce female and male agama into the same cage between March and May. This increases the breeding chances.
If you notice your female agama turn round, then she is carrying eggs. This is the best time to install a nesting box in the enclosure.
You will need to remove the eggs and place them into an incubator (85 degrees Fahrenheit) where they hatch within 3 months.
Red headed agama are relatively easy to care for which makes them excellent pets (see also “Red Headed Agama Care Sheet“).