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Emerald Swift Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Swifts

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.80    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 09/19/2005

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Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years


Emerald Swift

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Emerald Swifts

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males are easily distinguishable from females in that their backs are bright emerald green thus their name. The males also sport bright blue scales on their stomach. The females on other hand have more brown colored scales on their back and very little blue underneath.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Substrates no matter what the lizard are not easy to pick for various reasons. Either they might cause impaction or contain harmful chemicals or whatever might the case might be. Now at a young age reptile carpet is recommended to avoid any type of impaction. However, as they age they like to bury themselves so obviously the substrate must change, mostly to reduce stress. I use a fine calcium sand which seems to work well. There are also different reptile barks out there, some of which maybe safe to use. If you can not consult a specialist you own judgment is best. If the sand is ingested immediately change to bark or another lizard substrate.

Lighting and UVB:

A UV light bulb is essential for these lizards. Since these lizard spend all their time being active during the day soaking up the sun UV rays are needed either by a light bulb or by directly placed in the sun maybe by a window with up to 12 to 14 hours of light a day.

Temperatures and Humidity:

An emerald swift habitat should consist of two different temperatures. The warm end through out the day should be consistently between 89 and 94 while the cooler end ranges from 77 to 84. Swifts do need a fair amount of moisture so misting about once every other day will be sufficient with their dens being misted about once a day. Baby swifts need to be sprayed once every day.

Heating and Equipment:

In most cases a UV bulb is not enough heat for the swift so another lamp might be needed. One other possibility might be a heat rock. This is something I would not recommend for most other lizards but the swifts actually use it to digest their food.

Caging Provided:

Though swifts are not a very large lizard, they are a descent size and need a good amount of room to move around. If a 20 gallon tank is used this may be big enough for one lizard at the most. A 30 gallon tank is recommended and can house up to one male and two or three females, but only one male at a time. Since these lizards are climbers in addition to logs, leaves, and other environmental objects a screen top is suggested so the lizard can hang upside down. Open-air habitats are ideal for these lizards.



Description of Diet:

Although these lizards are mostly carnivorous they have been know to occasionally eat a piece of lettuce and some other vegetable. The main part of their diet will consist of meal worms, wax worms, crickets, and as babies fruit flies.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I supplement my lizards diet with carnivore calcium dust, on crickets and worms. Adults get supplemented every other day except when females are pregnant they get it every day as well as babies.


Maintenance with this herp includes changing water in the water dish about every three days or so along with constant cage care. Clean the entire cage about once every other week, unless the lizard becomes severely stressed only clean what is necessary. Dens should be cleaned about once every four months or so.

Some Words on this Species:

This lizard is very enjoyable to have and some through food association and repeated short handlings may become custom to small periods of being held. However this lizard is not a lizard for beginners nor is it something you should carry around with you.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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