Have you ever seen a lizard licking its eyes? If so, you may have been wondering why it does that.
Well, wonder no more! In this article, we will explore the reasons why lizards lick their eyes and what benefits it provides them. So, keep reading to learn more about this interesting reptile behavior!
Can Lizards Lick Their Eyes?
Yes, many reptiles including most lizards are able to lick their eyes clean. The long tongue of a lizard is perfect for reaching all the way around the eye and getting rid of any dirt, dust, or other debris that may have collected there.
While it may seem like a strange and disgusting habit to us, licking their eyes is perfectly normal for reptiles and helps them to stay healthy and see clearly.
So next time you see a lizard licking its eyes, don’t be grossed out – just know that it’s something they have to do!
Note: Some reptiles such as geckos for example don’t have eyelids so they rely on their tongues to keep their eyes clean and healthy.
Do All Lizards Lick Their Eyes?
Some reptiles don’t need to lick their eyes they have eyelids, but most will still give their eyes a good licking from time to time.
Lizards have long tongues that they use for many different purposes. One of those purposes is cleaning their eyes. Many lizards will lick their eyes several times a day to keep them clean and free of debris.
How do Lizards Lick Their Eyes?
Lizards have a third eyelid that helps keep their eyes clean and free of debris. This eyelid is called the nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane can be seen moving from the corner of the lizard’s eye when it licks its eye.
Many lizards have long tongues that they use to lick their eyes clean. They flick their tongues in and out towards the nictitating membrane to remove any dirt or debris.
Other lizards such as the chameleon can maneuver their tongue and lick their eyes from the inside of their own head!
How Often do Lizards Lick Their Eyes?
There is no one answer to this question since there are many different species of lizards with different habits. Some lizards may lick their eyes several times a day while others may only do it once every few days or weeks.
In general, however, it is thought that lizards use their tongues to clean their eyes and keep them moist. This is especially important in desert habitats where there is little moisture available.
Important: If the eye licking becomes continuous or excessive, it could indicate a problem with the habitat or be a sign of infection.
Why do Lizards Lick Their Eyes?
There is no one answer to this question since lizards lick their eyes for different reasons depending on the species of lizard. Some lizards lick their eyes to keep them clean and free of debris and they may also lick their eyes to help them regulate their body temperature.
By licking their eyes, blood flow is increased to the skin around the eyes, and this increased blood flow helps cool down the lizard’s body.
Some lizards also lick their eyes as a form of communication. For example, male anoles will lick their eyes in order to show dominance over other males, and leopard geckos will sometimes lick their eyes as a way of showing submission to another gecko.
Why Do Lizards Lick their Eyes Excessively?
Although eye licking is a normal behavior in lizards, it’s possible that your lizard is excessively licking its eyes because they are infected. External parasites, such as mites, can cause eye irritation and excessive eye licking in lizards.
In addition, inadequate humidity or poor sanitary conditions can also lead to eye infections in lizards.
Firstly, check your pet’s environment, make sure that the habitat is clean, and that the temperature and humidity levels are at their recommended levels.
Secondly, if no environmental issues have been found, and your lizard is continuously licking its eyes it’s a good idea to take them to the vet to have them checked out!
Should I be Worried if My Lizard Licks its Eyes?
One potential reason why your lizard may lick its eyes is to keep them clean and clear of any foreign particles. While this behavior is completely normal, make sure that your lizard is not overdoing it as excessive licking can lead to eye irritation.
Also, take a close look at your lizard’s habitat and make sure that it is clean and free of any potential irritants that could be causing your lizard to be excessively licking its eyes.
If everything looks good on that front, then there is no need to worry. Just keep an eye on your lizard’s behavior and make sure that it isn’t causing any discomfort to its eyes.
Common Eye Problem in Lizards
Insectivorous lizards can often be at risk due to abnormal sheds and infections around their eyes, usually due to vitamin A deficiency in the diet.
To prevent this problem, you should feed your pet a variety of prey items that have been gut loaded with plenty of green, red, yellow, and orange veggies containing vitamin A.
Note: Many store-bought insects will not have been adequately gut loaded – if at all!
What to do if My Lizard’s Eye Becomes Infected?
If your lizard’s eye becomes or looks infected, you should take it to a veterinarian. Infected eyes can often be treated with antibiotics, but it’s important to make sure that the infection is properly identified and that the correct antibiotic is prescribed.
In addition, it’s important to make sure that your lizard is being fed adequately. Lizards need a diet that is high in vitamin A in order to maintain good eye health. You can help ensure that your lizard is getting enough vitamin A by gut loading its prey insects with vegetables containing vitamin A.
Why do lizards lick their eyes? Well, there are various reasons depending on the species of lizard and their environment but in most cases, there is no reason to worry as eye licking is normal behavior for lizards.
It’s just another way that these creatures keep their vision clear and keep themselves clean and healthy although excessive or continuous licking could indicate an issue that needs to be addressed.
Reptile Wrestler Tips!
“If you are worried about your pet, take them to the vet for a check-up!”
“Always ensure that your lizard habitat is clean, and all of the levels are at the optimum levels for the particular species!”
“Make sure that you gut-load your insects with vegetables that contain vitamin A which is good for your lizard’s eye health!”
“If you’re ever concerned about abnormally high or excessive eye licking in your lizard pet, be sure to check your pet’s environment for anything that could be the cause!”
Why do reptiles lick their eyes?
There are a variety of reasons why reptiles might lick their eyes. One reason could be to keep their eyes clean and free from debris. Another reason might be to help moisturize their eyes and keep them healthy. Reptiles often rely heavily on their vision to help them find food and avoid predators, so it’s important for them to keep their eyes in good condition.
What to do if my lizards’ eyes are red from licking?
If your lizard’s eyes are red from excessive licking, you need to check their vivarium and then take them to the vet. There could be a sanitary problem with the habitat, or they could have developed an underlying health condition.
Why does my lizard have bad eyes?
Eye conditions in lizards can often be caused by a lack of vitamin A in their diet. If your lizard eats insects, be sure to gut load them with plenty of nutrients before feeding them to your pet – remember that pet stores will rarely gut load the insects for you.
Hi, I’m Stuart and I’ve had reptiles for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I studied for a master’s in Herpetology. Over the years I have worked at several zoos before opening my very own reptile sanctuary. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their little beasties.