Can Snakes and Lizards Live Together?

A lot of people wonder if snakes and lizards can live in the same cage together because they are such similar animals. I did some research about that and decided to share what I found. 

So can snakes and lizards live together? 

Usually, snakes cannot live with lizards in the same tank. Due to their slightly different living temperatures and different habitats, it isn’t very safe to have them live together.

It IS possible to put these different reptiles in the same tank, depending on the species, but it is very rarely a safe situation for both the animals and yourself.

Housing Two Reptiles (Such as a Snake and a Lizard)

It would require quite a bit of work and research in order to make your pets’ habitat a safe and healthy environment for them both. Here are just a couple important circumstances and regulations you would need to keep an eye out for if you were looking into creating a healthy environment where your scaley friends can coexist happily.

  1. Ensure that the different species and genders of your pets are non-aggressive and coexist well with other animals. This will prevent both your animals getting very injured or possibly even dying. So make sure you study up on the habits of the different species you own AND their specific gender habits before you put your little friends in a tank together.
  2. You will need to set up two different temperature atmospheres within the one tank. Snakes naturally need a lower temperature atmosphere than lizards do. To make this work, it is preferable to have a larger tank so there is enough room to have the two differing temperatures. Additionally, having that extra room will ensure that one side doesn’t get too hot or cold for its intended habitat. 

On Coexisting Snakes with a Lizard

If you shouldn’t have a lizard in a cage with a snake, you definitely shouldn’t house a lizard AND more than one snake together and here is why. Snakes are naturally “solo” animals. They live alone, they hunt alone, they eat alone. They don’t do well with the company and don’t “hang out” with other snakes.

The only time snakes are around each other is when they are mating. Otherwise, they prefer to stay with their lonesome selves and they thrive. They are natural introverts!

When you house snakes together you can run into a few problems:

  • Cannibalism
  • Disease
  • Feeding problems

A lot of snakes are naturally cannibalistic. It is just in their biology. There are snakes that will eat other, more vulnerable snakes, and then there are snakes that will get eaten by these bigger, more dominant and aggressive snakes. It is a huge risk if you house snakes together that will end up costing or wasting a LOT of money.

Disease is a VERY common problem when trying to house snakes together. More common than cannibalism! Due to snakes being a “solo” species, each snake has its own germs or diseases it’s gonna come with. Especially from a pet store. These different diseases can infect your other snake(s) in that habitat and end up killing them.

Snakes can also be very sick when at the pet store and it’s not always noticeable until even months later but can infect others very quickly resulting in BOTH or ALL of your community housed snakes dying due to the one disease brought into the tank. Or possibly a lot of very expensive vet bills.

Another problem that will occur in a community snake tank is the establishment of dominance resulting in feeding problems. One of the snakes in your community tank is gonna establish its Alpha status in the cage and will always be the one to eat.

Along with this alpha mentality, this snake won’t let the other eat at all to show its dominance over it. So, the submissive snake will probably eventually starve, which is not good.

If Lizards Won’t Work, Can Snakes Live With Any Other Reptiles?

Often times other reptiles can’t live together, but you can have a happy, reptilian community environment if you plan it correctly and do your research on the species you plan to obtain for your little ecosystem. 

Snakes also cannot live with turtles.

What you need to find for your new reptile friends are similar atmospheric temperatures and features. You can’t put, for example, a snake needing a 75 degree, dry, desert ecosystem with a lizard that needs a 95 degree and damp, forest ecosystem. So make sure your animals have what they need.

Another thing to consider is genders and aggressive or dominant habits. Males of the same species often can’t live together because of their need for an Alpha status. If put together they will show aggression towards each other in order to establish that dominance. 

In order to avoid this aggression try to only have ONE males of a species in your tank and if you have any other reptiles of that species ensure that they are female. Doing this will help ensure a happy healthy community.

How to handle aggressive snakes

When a snake is feeling unsafe or unwell, it will respond aggressively. This is not an ideal state for anyone to be handling a snake, but sometimes you have to and it can be dangerous. However, there are some tips I can give you to help make the situation much safer for both of you.

  1. To be extra safe, make sure you have ONE person for every FOUR FEET of snake you will be handling. By doing this you will ensure complete control over your reptile.
  2. Make sure you are equipped properly! Wear long sleeves and pants, close-toed shoes, gloves, and have a snake hook to use and proper medication accessible. You can never be too safe!
  3. Move slowly and let the snake get used to you being present before handling it. Then move quickly to get it contained and take control of the situation.

Related Questions:

Can snakes and turtles live together? 

Most reptiles don’t do well living together. This is because they can possibly eat or attack each other or don’t have the same environmental needs.