Gila Monster
Heloderma suspectum
description 1 of only 2 venomous lizards in the entire world, the slow-moving Gila uses its keen senses of smell and taste to find nests and burrows; then it usually relies on its powerful jaws (rather than its potent venom) to subdue its prey. Also, it is the largest lizard in the U.S.
distribution U.S.A.
(from extreme southwest Utah to southern Sonora and northern Sinaloa; extreme southwest New Mexico to southern Nevada and just into California)
adult size 20" - 24"
subspecies suspectum -- Reticulated Gila Monster
cinctum -- Banded Gila Monster
natural habitats Terrestrial, solitary;
desert areas, arid wetter, rockier paloverde-sequaro desert scrub association than the drier, sandier creosote bush-bersage association, up to an elevation of 1500m
cage Cage should be large instead of tall since it does not climb much. (e.g. Wooden Terrarium, Glass Terrarium)
substrate Soil, gravel, sand (e.g. Repti Sand, Calci-Sand), barks (e.g. Repti Bark, Coconut Bark)
activity period Daytime (diurnal);
12 - 14 hours each day with direct natural sunlight or UV lamp (e.g. ReptiSun 5.0, UV Heat Bulb)
temperature 38 - 40 ¢XC -- basking spot   (e.g. Basking Spot Lamp)
26 - 30 ¢XC -- cooler area   (e.g. Daylight Blue Bulb)
18 - 24 ¢XC -- at night   (e.g. Nightlight Red Bulb, Infrared Heat Lamp, Ceramic Heat Emitter)
humidity 40 - 50 %
water dish Optional. a water dish (e.g. Rock water dish) can be left in the cage sometimes but not all the time
hiding place Optional. Possibllites include caves (e.g. Habba Hut, Heat Cave), etc
wild diet Carnivorous (meat-eating);
small rodents, juvenile birds, bird and reptile eggs
captive food dead rodents (e.g. mice, rats), occasionally chicken eggs
how often to feed? Every day for hatchlings;
4 - 5 times a week for juveniles;
3 - 4 times a week for adults
reproduction Oviparous; lays 5- 12 eggs in july to augest
incubation approx. 10 months (a lot sooner in captive)

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