Desert Horned Toad Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)A.K.A. Desert Horned LizardDescription: Desert Horned Toad Lizards are brown to rust-colored lizards with spiny protrusions along their bodies. They can grow up to 3-5 inches long as adults. These lizards can live up to 4-8 years if taken care of properly. These lizards are not recommended for beginners because they can be difficult to care for.Habitat and Tank Requirements: This species is native to the deserts of Western North America. They do well with sand, crushed walnut shells, or anything they can burrow into as a substrate. Be sure to put enough rocks and wood in the tank for your lizard to hide in. One adult can be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating. A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 76-88º F during the day and slightly cooler nighttime temperatures. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. In addition to UV light, these lizards need a hotter basking area of about 95º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light for this. Heat rocks are not recommended as they can burn your animal. Your tank should have a small, shallow bowl of water that is cleaned daily. This is for your lizard to drink from as well as wade in.Diet: Desert Horned Toad Lizards are mainly insectivorous. They will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. Ants are a favorite of this species. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.Handling: Allow your lizard time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.