How Long Do Lizards Live And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

12 to 20 years is the exact answer.

Lizards have an estimated lifetime of 12 to 20 years. The longevity of lizards, on the other hand, is determined by a variety of circumstances. The kind of lizard is the most important element in determining how long a lizard lives.

blue and brown lizard on brown sand during daytime

In captivity, how long can lizards live?

They are members of the alligator family. This little alligator has tiny feet with five toes on each foot. If you want to keep a lizard as a pet, you need first decide how long you want to keep it. When it comes to lifetime, it is not fixed; it varies. The lifespans of many animal species vary.

A bearded dragon, for example, lives for 10 years, but a crested gecko lives for 17 years. However, it is fascinating to learn that a bearded dragon has a lifetime of 20 years, according to a report.

Proper care and diet will always keep a lizard active and healthy, just as it will keep people active and healthy. It will be one of those nice friends you will always have at your disposal. You may observe it growing and calming across the walls of your room as you sleep on your bed.

Keep sharp things away from your lizard if you want it to trust you. All these minor factors will ensure that you have this tiny cute pet for a longer time.

How long do common lizards live?

A house lizard has a lifespan of around five years. It is common for them to be unable to locate an acceptable amount of food in a given dwelling. They easily modify the residence to satisfy their appetite since they can shift from one location to another at any moment.

Household lizards include crested geckos, bearded dragons, and leopard geckos. These species are simple to care for. Proper housing naturally extends their lives.

A chameleon is a lizard with a lifetime of one to three years. Simultaneously, the typical lifetime of other species ranges between 10 and 20 years. Common species include iguanas and geckos. Mexican Beaded Lizards, for example, have a life span of three years.

However, have you ever considered that lizards are harmful to your home? These little reptiles are in charge of keeping the bug population under check. The insects must be frightened. These house lizards are non-venomous and harmless. Therefore you should not be scared of them.

They belong to the creepy crawlies category and make excellent house pets. You must understand how these little reptiles contribute to the environmental friendliness of your garden.

How long can a lizard go without eating?

If you own a little house lizard, you’re probably wondering how long it can go without food. There is a danger that a lizard will starve if it is not fed well. Furthermore, you must not be free to feed the little gecko adequately.

You should know that a lizard may survive for two weeks or longer without nourishment. This also differs depending on the kind of lizard in question. Some can only go for two to three weeks, while others can continue for up to two months.

Lizards adapted to arid environments can survive for long periods without water. On the other hand, those lizards from tropical climates struggle to survive without water. If you wish to observe yourself, keep a note on the lizard’s skin. If it appears to be shrinking, this indicates that it is dehydrated.

Baby lizards require extra nourishment to adjust to a new environment. Did you know that lizards retain excess fat in their tails? When they need additional energy, they break down the fat stored in their tails and can live for the day.

Leopard geckos, for example, may go for more than a month without feeding. Without food, an adult bearded dragon cannot survive for more than three weeks. Overall, it is critical to maintaining your lizard healthy.

What Is the Life Expectancy of Different Lizard Species?

There are a total of 4,675 lizard species in the wild. Some of them survive for little more than three years, while others might live for up to twenty. Here is a list of the most prevalent varieties and their life lengths.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

African fat-tailed geckos have a lifespan of up to 20 years. Their minimum lifetime is 12 years. However, this varies according to their environment. They will live longer if they are kept in captivity.

African geckos are popular pet lizards due to their friendliness toward strangers. Furthermore, they are not needy, making them simple to care for beginners.

These geckos can survive in terrariums and require water and a heating pad to be warm and hydrated. A pair of these lizards will fit well in a 10-gallon terrarium.

Blue-Tongued Skink

Blue-tongued skinks are most likely the only skink species that may be kept as a home pet.

Their movement is too sluggish for their benefit, and they hardly open their lips unless they are hungry. Furthermore, because they are so little, they require a small tank.

It isn’t easy to raise a blue-tongued skink as it is to raise a turtle. You can see it but can’t feel it throughout the home, which is what some people want.

These creatures have a lifespan ranging from 12 to 20 years. They eat insects and fruits, both of which should be abundant. Aside from that, all they require is a 20-gallon aquarium and a bowl of water.

The Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragons, like African geckos, are popular as house pets because they are easy to care for. You need to sprinkle water on them once a day. Aside from that, it’s a really simple task.

Furthermore, because of their tiny size, they only require a small tank or terrarium, making them a reasonably affordable pet to care for.

In captivity, a bearded dragon may survive for 8 to 12 years. It will require an aquarium, some landscaping, and lighting to create a pleasant ambiance. Bearded dragons also eat insects, which are readily available.

The Crested Gecko

Crested Geckos, like African Geckos and Blue-Tongued Skinks, live for 12 to 20 years. They move slowly like skinks, but they’re a little more thrilling since they like to climb.

You’ll have a lot of fun watching the lizard hop from one branch to the next if you put some in your aquarium.

Crested Geckos require landscaping in their tanks, or they may become melancholy.

So, in addition to their basic water and food requirements, you’ll need to offer some wood.

A handful of branches well enough, and the lizard would like it if you can find a hollow wood piece.

During the day, these little scaly fellas like to hide.

Northern Alligator Lizard

Northern Alligator Lizards are a popular choice for house pets since they are reasonably easy to care for. Their lifetime, however, is substantially shorter than other lizard varieties. They have a maximum lifespan of 5 to 8 years.

Northern alligators are around the same size as green iguanas, but they don’t grow as quickly, making them a little simpler to handle. They can, however, grow to be 6 feet tall and require a medium-sized terrarium.

These lizards consume small insects. They are born with the capacity to jump and climb high, just as Crested Geckos. So, in the terrarium, you’ll need to give decent landscaping and a few wooden objects for fun.

The Green Iguana

Green Iguanas are not commonly kept as house pets. To begin with, they are more difficult to care for than the previously described varieties. Furthermore, they are bigger than typical and need a 55-gallon terrarium.

Nonetheless, some reptile lovers adore them. They live for 12 to 20 years and develop fast throughout this time. Males may grow to be 6 feet tall, while females can grow to be 4 feet tall.

These lizards require a considerable room to move in and an overhead illumination to provide a pleasant ambiance. They eat vegetables and fruits largely.

Gecko Leopard

Leopard geckos may live for up to 20 years and come in a range of bright hues. Furthermore, they are rather little, only reaching 7–10 inches in length, making them a popular choice for house pets.

These geckos are quite relaxed and simple to handle. They merely require a warm lamp over their heads and juicy insects to eat.

Here’s a short rundown of how long a lizard lives, depending on the species:

SpeciesAverage Lifespan in Captivity
Ackie Monitor17 years
African Fat-Tailed Gecko20 years
Argentine Black and White Tegu17 years
Argus Monitor17 years
Asian Water Monitor16 years
Bearded Dragon10 years
Black Throat Monitor20 years
Blue Tongued Skink17 years
Chinese Water Dragon15 years
Chuckwalla25 years
Crested Gecko17 years
Dumeril’s monitor10 years
Frilled Dragon10 years
Gargoyle Gecko17 years
Giant Day Gecko8 years
Green Anole3 years
Green Basilisk7 years
Green Iguana10 years
Jackson’s Chameleon8 years
Leachianus gecko17 years
Leopard Gecko17 years
Ornate Uromastyx15 years
Panther Chameleon4 years
Savannah Monitor17 years
Veiled Chameleon6 years
Average Lifespan in Captivity13.6 years

Why do lizards have such long lives?

The main reason lizards live so long is that the life cycle takes a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of 20 years to complete.

Scientists discovered optimal settings for lizards to survive for a longer period as veterinary medicine and veterinary science advanced.

Furthermore, with expanded and better information about proper lizard care, healthy eating habits, and all other survival scenarios, the typical lizard lifetime may be raised from 2 years to about 3 years.

Lizards are generally less sensitive to survival issues such as predators and food scarcity. They may easily survive up to 3 years if properly cared for, supplied with secure and sufficient shelter, a decent diet, and an attentive owner.

Furthermore, lizards are at the bottom of the food chain. That is, animals that rely on other animals for sustenance are likely to prey on lizards. As a result, lizards do not live long.

Unlike wild lizards, lizards kept in captivity can live for up to 20 years. This is because these lizards do not have to fight for food or predators to survive. These lizards are fed and given a good habitat, and they are kept safe from predators, resulting in a lifetime of 12 to 20 years.

How to Extend the Life of a Lizard

While each lizard has unique living requirements that assure its survival, there are a few things you can do to improve your lizard’s chances of attaining peak development.

To optimize lifetime, use these tactics with knowledge of how long pet lizards live.

Provide Appropriate Shelter

Each lizard species need a unique form of housing, which varies in size, temperature, and contents.

As you can see from just a few of the lizards discussed above, there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy for setting up this reptile.

If you intend to keep a lizard, it is essential to research the species you intend to buy and plan appropriately.

A basic rule for all lizards, though, is to provide a heat source, such as an overhead lamp.

This is because lizards are cold-blooded species, and while they may absorb heat from the sun in the wild, this is not feasible in captivity.

Ensure that there is enough food and water.

Again, lizard diets differ between species. Thus a preliminary study is required.

Most of these reptiles, though, will be content on vegetables, fruit, and tiny insects.

It is essential to supply a suitable amount of food based on the size of your reptile and to prevent over- or under-feeding.

In terms of water, regardless of the lizard species, an appropriate water supply should always be provided and checked regularly.

Maintain Your Lizard’s Happiness

One of the most crucial components of lizard care is ensuring they are healthy, happy, and entertained.

Each species has a distinct behavior, with some preferring to hide under mulch and dirt and others being eager climbers.

It is critical to offer your lizards the appropriate stimulus in their habitats, as this will help them live longer lives.

Happiness and safety are more important than size regarding how long little lizards survive.


Pet lizards may survive for 2 to 3 years if they are healthy and receive the necessary care, as well as other necessities such as food and housing.

However, it is critical to ensure that these pet lizards face the same health hazards as other household pets. There is a high likelihood that these pet lizards may die due to various ailments if they are not properly cared for or given the necessary diagnosis.


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!