Any experience with Madagascar Rainbow Rock Lizards?

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I recently became obsessed with a beautiful little lizard I found while on a weekend vacation called a Madagascar Rainbow Rock Lizard. I stopped by the Petco (yes, I know, I try to avoid them) in Edwardsville, IL and saw this little guy and instantly fell in love. They have about a dozen different names because no one can seem to agree what to call them, but their scientific name is Tracheloptychus petersi.

I passed on the little guy and totally regret it, as no one in midstate and apparently even Chicagoland area seems to have them. I'm actually considering making a day trip down to pick the little guy up. Does anyone have experience with them? I've read several sources that say to avoid calcium sand and instead go with natural sand. They indeed need sand because they dig, so tiles/newspaper/pet matting won't work. Any recommendations for a particular type of sand that would be safest?

Edit: Here's a picture of the adorable little guy.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
He's a cool looking lizard! I don't think I've ever seen one of those. If you have the resources to give him a good home, I'd go pick him up. Better than letting him fall into the hands of someone who may be abusive or negligent. I can't be of much help in terms of care, but it looks like these are relatives so this article may be helpful to you


Original Poster
I drove a 4.5 hour round trip to pick the little guy up and I'm rather excited to see him get used to his new home. He's already burrowing into the quartz sand I filled his tank with, and seems to be reasonably accepting of handling, but I'm going to give him time to get used to his new home before trying to get him used to being outside.

I have yet to feed him and have a separate 10 gallon tank with no sand for that purpose. I'm scared to death that he might become impacted if I were to feed him over the sand, so I'll just be careful and only use the clean tank for that purpose. I'll post a picture of him as soon as he's out in the morning.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
That's exciting. I'm glad you went back and got him. I hope he settles in quickly. I'm looking forward to reading more about him.
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