Blue Tegu: Care Info & Guide for Beginners (With Pictures)

You may not think of reptiles as your first idea for a pet. However, 4.5 million households have it. The Blue Tegu is an interesting animal, and is sure to satisfy your need for something exotic. While you can handle it, its grooming and adult size puts it in the realm of experienced pet owners. Indeed, housing will probably be one of your biggest challenges.

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Quick Facts about Blue Tegu

Species Name:Salvator merianae
Common names:Blue Tegu
Treatment Level:Easy to quite easy
Lifetime:10-15 years
Adult Size:Up to 3′ L
Minimum Tank Size:At least 6′ L
Temperature & Humidity


60% -80%

Do Blue Tegus Make Good Pets?

blue tegu_Pixabay

Many reptiles may not make the best pets because handling them is not recommended. Not so with Tegu Biru. It is quite docile compared to many similar species. However, the break-in period will be long if you don’t get the animal when it’s young. Some fans may insist that he enjoys handling. After all, it will love the warmth of your body.

There are some challenges when it comes to owning a reptile of this size. Blue Tegu are omnivores, making it a challenge that gets older and bigger.


The Blue Tegu is a burly reptile that resembles a monitor. It has a blue-black mottled appearance, with a tapered snout that has a black spot on the tip. It has long claws and finger-like appendages. The tail accounts for about a third of its length.

How to Take Care of Blue Tegu

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings

This animal lives in the thickets and forests of central South America. These are generalists who will get a variety of foodstuffs in the wild. It is considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Although the pet trade has had an impact on the native population, the main threat is trapping the hides. However, the population is stable.


A blue tegu will reach adult size at about 5 years of age. This will require the tank to be at least 6 feet long, preferably 8 feet, if possible. That will give him enough room to move. An aquarium will provide an ideal habitat to maintain the right temperature and humidity. This can also ensure that your Tegu stays in its cage, as it is a runaway artist.

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Daily cleaning of the walls is essential to ensure a healthy environment for your pet. You should also take out the trash immediately. Change the media as necessary to keep odors under control.

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You must provide UV light for at least 12 hours a day. It can make a difference where you place the cage. You can also set the infrared ceramic heater to provide the required warmth without light during night hours.

Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

Blue Tegu prefers it on the warm side to mimic its natural environment. Lighting and heating will suffice. It’s a good idea to place a thermometer in the cage to monitor the temperature. It should not be below 75℉. Misting daily is the best way to ensure that it is sufficiently moist in the tank. You should also add a sturdy water bottle that you should refill daily.


You can use sphagnum moss or coconut husk as a substrate, just make sure it’s at least a 3 inch layer. Damping it will increase the level of humidity in the tank. You’ll also need to provide hiding places, rocks, and pieces of bark in order to climb up. In the wild, the Blue Tegu often spends most of its time in the canopy.

Tank Recommendations
Tank Type40 gallon glass vivarium
LightningUV rays
WarmupHeating pad/ribbon at the bottom of the enclosure
Best Substratecoconut fiber

Feeding Your Blue Tegu

tegu_DerWeg_Pixabay blue

Diet Summary
fruits5% of diet
Insect90% of the diet when young; 25% as adults
Meat75% of the diet, with little mouse, boiled eggs, raw meat
Supplements RequiredCalcium powder in the diet, plus a multi-vitamin twice a week

Keeping Your Blue Tegu Healthy

Providing a healthy environment is the single best thing you can do to keep your Tegu Biru healthy. Maintaining the right humidity range will likely be your biggest challenge. Another concern is a clean tank. That means immediate disposal of uneaten food and waste to prevent bacterial growth.

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General Health Problems

blue tegu_Tomaz Jorge de Melo Tom_Pixabay

Healthy animals are active and alert. Sometimes, you will notice a decrease in its activity before it falls out. Appetite is also an indication of whether they are healthy or sick. A common problem is breathing problems, usually caused by conditions that are too humid or too cold. We recommend monitoring the environment in his cage.

GI issues are another issue, especially if you offer too many vegetables, which your Blue Tegu may have a hard time digesting. Fruits are much easier on their system. Other red flags include:

  • Hard to breathe

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Swelling

  • Difficulty moving


Blue Tegu are quite long-lived, given the right environment. They live up to 15 years, with some animals living up to 20 years in the right conditions. Keep in mind that these reptiles usually live in places where the climate is relatively stable. That’s what you need to provide for your pet to stay healthy.


We don’t recommend trying to breed your Blue Tegu, especially if you don’t have enough space for a breeder tank. Adults don’t get along, making it difficult. Even zoos haven’t been that successful. Keep in mind that breeding them is also illegal in some states, such as Florida, where these reptiles are an ecological threat to native wildlife.

Are Blue Tegus Friendly? Our Handling Advice

The key is frequent handling to get your pet used to being around you. Don’t try to grab the Blue Tegu by the tail, as this could knock it away from you. You should move slowly around your pet, avoiding sudden movements, which can startle him. These reptiles are intelligent and will most likely soon make a connection between you and the food.

Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect

All the lizards are shed. Keeping the humidity within the recommended range is the best thing you can do to ensure it can get through this time with less stress. We recommend providing a large bowl of water that your Blue Tegu can use to moisturise its skin in preparation for shedding. Daily drizzle is also important. Maybe not as active as it used to be.

How much does Tegu Biru cost?

Blue Tegus are popular pets among reptile enthusiasts because of their docile nature and relatively easy care. You may find it difficult to find it. You may end up paying more than $600 for a healthy young specimen.

Care Guide Summary

Blue Tegu ProBlue Tegu Cons
Submissive natureMust be placed individually
Curious and explorationIt takes time to adjust to the new environment
Simple dietMove during handling

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The Blue Tegu is a striking animal that will make an excellent pet as long as you can provide it with a suitable environment. If you get a young animal, you’ll need to handle it so having one animal is more fun as they grow. With the right care, you can have many years with your exotic pet.

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Featured Image Credit: Jortiz9758, Shutterstock