Asian Grass Lizard, or Six-striped Long Tailed Lizard

Takydromus sexlineatus

The Asian grass lizard is an arboreal, diurnal species native to Southeast Asia, including India, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), the Malaysian Peninsula, and Indonesia. It can be recognized by a very long thin tail and distinctive back stripes; in fact, it is also known by a more descriptive name, the six-striped long-tailed lizard.

In captivity, Asian grass lizards can grow up to 12 inches long and live up to 5 years. They are active by day and enjoy climbing on perches and branches. They feed on flies and other insects.

Did You Know?

Grass Lizards are active by nature and climb acrobatically using their long prehensile tails.

Sustainability

Does the harvest for wildlife trade or captive breeding of this species harm wild populations?

Some Cause for Concern

There are no reliable data on the size of wild populations of Asian grass lizards, or how many individuals are captured or captive-bred for the pet trade. Nevertheless, the lizard’s broad geographic distribution, fast growth rate, and large number of eggs laid per female suggest that this species can tolerate some harvesting of individuals from the wild.

EcoHealthy Recommendation:

When possible, purchase a captive-bred animal, as this will decrease the demand for wild-born individuals. Only acquire a pet that is from a reputable breeder or dealer to ensure that you are not buying an illegally wild-caught and/or imported animal.

Invasion Threat

Does the release or escape of this species into the wild harm the environment and/or economy?

Unable to Rank

EcoHealthy Pets did not find sufficient information to evaluate the invasion threat from Asian grass lizards.

EcoHealthy Recommendation:

Before obtaining any non-traditional pet, check that it is legal to own one in your state of residence and check for permitting requirements. Only acquire a pet that is from a reputable breeder or dealer to ensure that you are not buying an illegally imported or wild-caught animal. Always keep your pet inside a safe and secure enclosure. Never release a pet into the wild.

Ease of Care

Does harvest, captive breeding, transport, or being kept as a pet harm individual animals?

Little Cause for Concern

Ease of care of many non-traditional pets depends on the individual owner’s years of experience and knowledge caring for a particular species. For the purposes of this website, we have geared information toward the benefit of the beginner.

Asian grass lizards are docile and relatively easy to keep in captivity. However they require a varied diet, proper temperature and humidity, and UV light exposure. Active by nature, they climb acrobatically using their long prehensile tails and are fun to watch. They are best kept in small groups in large community terrariums. For example, three to five Asian grass lizards can live together in a tall (36 x 15 x 15 inch) tank. Take care, however, when handling these animals; if you grab one too suddenly it may become scared and drop its tail.

EcoHealthy Recommendation:

Before acquiring an Asian grass lizard, be sure to research its specific care requirements. Annual check ups and fecal analyses are recommended. Talk to your veterinarian about the proper diet and how to maintain a healthy weight for your pet. 

Health Threat

Does this animal pose a health risk to native wildlife, humans, livestock and agriculture?

Some Cause for Concern

There are no reports of Asian grass lizards harboring diseases but like all reptiles they may carry Salmonella. If ingested by humans, Salmonella can cause vomiting and diarrhea; these symptoms are usually mild in healthy adults but can be fatal to infants and young children, or anyone with a compromised immune system. It is important to wash hands before and after each time an animal is handled. Salmonella can be transmitted from exotic pets to any member of a household, even those who do not handle the pet directly.

EcoHealthy Recommendation:

Reptiles often do not show signs of illness when harboring Salmonella. Regardless, when purchasing a pet ask the seller if the animal has been checked by a veterinarian and obtain a list of any medical treatments the animal has received. Always wash your hands after handling a reptile.

EcoHealth Alliance works at the intersection of ecosystem, animal and human health through local conservation programs and develops global health solutions to emerging diseases.
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