Colombian Gold Tegu
Scientific Name: Tupinambis teguixin
Average Life Span: 12 to 20 years
Size: 2 to 3 feet in length
IUCN Red List Status: Unknown
Current Population Trend: Unknown
The gold tegu, also known as golden tegu, common tegu, black tegu, Colombian tegu, and tiger lizard (on Trinidad), is a species of tegu. Its old scientific name (synonym) was Tupinambis nigropunctatus, but it has since renamed to Tupinambis teguixin.
Gold tegus grow to be about 2 to 3 ft long on average, and up to 9 lbs in weight, with a glossy body, powerful limbs, and a thick tail. They have many black and gold stripes down their bodies. Gold tegus live in the tropical forests of northern and central South America, as well as Panama. They feed on insects, invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles, and birds, as well as fish and sometimes fruit. They typically do not make as good a pet as their larger southern relatives, the Argentine black and white tegu or the Argentine red tegu, but if handled frequently, they can make a good pet.
Gold tegus and black and white tegus look extremely similar. The only difference between the young tegus is the number of scales between the nose and the eye. Once grown, the Colombian tegu is much smaller than the average black and white tegu.