Everything You Need to Know About the Mountain Horned Lizard

Posted by Samantha Bubar

Ready to learn about the mountain horned lizard? They make great pets!

The mountain horned lizard is a tropical tree-dwelling lizard from Southeast Asia and the Malay Peninsula and surrounding islands. They spend their time in the humid treetops of jungles, waiting for insects to prey on.

These extremely docile reptiles spend most of their time relaxing, motionless, and when threatened will run to the ground and hide until the threat has disappeared. In captivity they can be expected to live for 5-8 years. They feast mainly on insects and occasionally fish, but their diet needs to be varied. While insects in pet stores are acceptable, they also need a lot of variation to provide sufficient nutrients. A favorite treat is earthworms.

Mountain horned lizards make great pets because of their calm nature, but they need to be handled appropriately as hatchlings to develop trust and tolerance toward their handler. Once they know and trust you, they will be content perched on your shoulder for hours.

They do best in a cooler, humid enclosure. A temperature of 80 degrees F during the day is ideal, with a basking spot of 90 degrees F and nighttime temperatures dipping into the low 70s. They also need UVB rays and a misting system or frequent hand misting times during the day with a large water dish to soak in to keep their humidity level between 60-80%.

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Red to orange in color.


Their skinny tail is usually the same length or longer than their entire body. They reach a total length of 10-12 inches.


Ranges from bright green to dark greenish brown.

Dorsal Crest

The mountain horned lizard has large spikes at the back of the neck that turn into a crest and runs down the length of the body.


This lizard has long skinny feet and toes for climbing to the tops of trees!

Image via Big Apple Herp

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Everything You Need to Know About the Mountain Horned Lizard