View Full Version : Which lizards brumate, and how can you know?

01-23-2011, 09:58 PM
I have read about brumation and that certain lizards require it during the winter months. I also know that - being ectotherms - they slow down when temperatures get lower.

What I want to know is this: Which lizard groups and species go through natural brumation, where they just slow down on their own, independently of surrounding changes like drops in temperature and/or humidity? Which species need to go through brumation during the winter, regardless of whether they do it naturally, and which species should not go through brumation or changes in their surroundings that might cause them to slow down?

I ask because, out of the five lizard species I currently keep, only my leopard geckos go through a period when they hardly ever eat anything and hardly come out of their hiding places. My fire skink does slow down somewhat, and she is a lot more elusive now than she was in the summer, but she still eats whatever I put in her bowl. My other lizards don't show any differences in behaviour or eating habits at all.

Is there some way to tell, by learning about where the lizard comes from or what its lifestyle is like (burrowing, arboreal, rock-dwelling, etc.), or by some other factor like physiology, phylogeny or behaviour, whether the type of lizard you have will and/or should go through brumation and what you should or shouldn't be doing differently during that time? Is there some way to know or find out before you get the lizard, or do you just have to observe what it does and "go with the flow?" And how do you know what to do?

Any of you guys who have knowledge and/or experience with a wide array of lizard species can fill me in here, or you can just tell me what I should be doing with some of my own lizards based on your experience with that particular species. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your replies.