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Pet Reptile Care Sheets

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Pink Bellied Swifts

The pink-bellied swift, native to Texas and northern Mexico, is also known as the rose-bellied spiny lizard.
Pink Bellied Swift Reptile Care Sheet
They are fun to watch and are great companion animals. Males are more vibrant and colourful than females.

They both grow between 4 and 6 inches long on average, and can live 5+ years with proper care.

Provide a variety of live insects, such as gut loaded (recently fed) crickets, mealworms, butterworms, waxworms, superworms; provide a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement once or twice a week and calcium daily.

Feed adults every other day, and juveniles daily.

Due to the varied sizes and growth rates of reptiles, and their individualised needs, we recommend you consult your qualified reptile veterinarian and a book on this species to determine it's specific housing requirements.

Size - Appropriate size and shape habitat to accomodate normal behaviours and exercise. Secure, tight-fitting lid.

Substrate - Use pelleted, mulch-type, or calcium sand. Lizards may eat substrate, if they do, select a substrate they won't eat, like paper or cage carpet, or an edible substrate.

Habitat - Provide hiding areas with non-toxic plants, branches, logs, and cork. Keep hiding areas away from the heat source. Environment should provide 60% or more humidity to promote proper shedding. You should also mist swifts and their environment daily.

Temperature - Temperature gradient (95F for the warm end and 75F for the cool end). Night time temperature should be 70F. We recommend radiant heat. Use an incandescent light or ceramic heater as primary heat source.

Lighting - Provide needed UVB rays with full spectrum fluorescent light for 10 to 12 hours a day. Incandescent bulbs are needed for basking area if you are not using a ceramic heater.

Water - They may not always drink from a bowl. Relies on moisture on decorations and in collecting pools in the tank. Always keep a shallow bowl of fresh, chlorine-free water available for when they do drink.

House adult males separately, do not house different species of reptiles together.

Recommended Supplies
- Habitat with secure lid
- Basking rock and logs
- Drip system - anoles
- Humidity gauge
- Book about swifts
- Full spectrum fluorescent light
- Vitamin/mineral supplement
- Non-toxic plants and branches
- Incandescent light or ceramic heater
- Thermometer
- Substrate
- Heat source
- and a Mist bottle

Normal Behaviour and Interaction
Pink-bellied swifts are active during the day. Most will become tame with regular handling. They are a docile animal and are easy to handle.

Habitat Maintainance
Thoroughly clean the tank at least once a week. Set the lizard aside in a secure habitat, scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution, rinse thoroughly through water to remove all smell of bleach, then add new substrate.

Grooming And Hygiene
Always wash your hands before and after handling your lizard or habitat contents to help prevent Salmonella and other infections diseases.

Lizards regularly shed their skin, so ensure humidity of their habitat is appropriate to allow proper shedding.

Signs Of A Healthy Animal
- Active and alert
- Healthy skin
- Clear eyes
- Eats regularly
- Clear nose and vent
- and body and tail are rounded and full

Common Health Issues
Gastro-intestinal Disease.

Symptoms or Causes - Runny stools, caked or smeared stool around the vent area, and loss of appetite caused by bacterial or parasitic infection

Suggested Action - Consult your exotic animal veterinarian

Metabolic Bone/Vitamin Deficiency

Symptoms or Causes - Inability to absorb calcium due to insufficient UVB light. If untreated, can lead to a disorder characterised by deformities and softened bones. Swollen limbs and lethargy.

Suggested Action - Provide ample UVB lighting and consult your exotic animal veterinarian.

Respiratory Disease

Symptoms or Causes - Labored breathing, runny nose, swollen eyes. Can be caused by temperatures that are too cold.

Suggested Action - Ensure proper lighting, water, and basking conditions. If condition persists contact your veterinarian.

Red Flags
- Weight loss or decreased appetite
- Swelling
- Bumps, sores, or abrasions on skin
- Paralysis of limbs or tail
- Mucus in mouth or nose
- Lethargy
- Labored breathing
- and Abnormal feces

If you notice any of these signs, please contact your exotic animal veterinarian.

Sources - Lizard Care from A-Z by Richard D. Bartlett & Patricia Pope Bartlett, Swifts & Spiny Lizards by Ray Hunziker.

Please only take the information given in any of our caresheets as general advice. They may not provide an exact answer to your particular reptiles problem and are to act as a general guide and 'heads-up' to keeping reptiles.

We cannot be held responsible for any problems your reptile encounters following the reading of these pages.

Pet Reptile Care Sheets

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