Pet reptiles come from different places all over the world. Even if your pet was bred in captivity, their environmental needs depend on their species and their natural habitat, not your current habitat! Naturally, this can create some issues for reptile owners. People living in dry climates might have an easier time keeping an animal naturally suited for that climate and vice versa! If you live in a humid area, maybe you want to look into keeping reptiles that already thrive in humidity.
So, what are some of the most common reptiles that like humidity?
There are many reptiles that like humidity! Any reptile that originated in a tropical setting will thrive in a humid environment. Snakes (like rainbow boas), anoles (like green anoles), and geckos (like crested geckos) are great examples of humidity-loving reptiles. These reptiles need moisture in the air and will actually become diseased in dry environments.
We’ll get to our list of humidity-loving critters near the end of this article, so if you’re already a humidity expert, scroll down. First though, let’s discuss why humidity is important, and how to keep humidity levels high in a reptile tank.
Why Is High Humidity Important For Some Reptiles?
We talked about why some reptiles need humidity to live.
All pet reptiles originated as wild animals. Even though they may have been bred for many generations, their basic biology still makes certain requirements of them. Reptiles that come from moist, tropical areas will need an environment that mimics that. Humidity is so important for reptiles because reptiles are actually able to gain and lose humidity through their skin. This is one of the things that makes reptiles so special. It’s also the reason that humidity is so important.
What Happens If The Humidity Is Too Low For A Reptile?
If the humidity in an environment isn’t correct for a reptile, they will quickly become dehydrated.
In a climate that is too dry, a reptile will start to lose hydration through its skin. You might start to notice that their skin becomes dry and saggy, their eyes look dull and sunken in, and they may become lethargic. While these symptoms are usually an indication of extreme dehydration, they’re good to watch out for! Low humidity levels can turn into a health crisis for some reptiles.
If you think your reptile is suffering from severe dehydration, don’t worry. Your first step should be to take them to a veterinarian so they can receive fluids ASAP. After that, you can start taking steps to make sure the humidity in your pet’s enclosure is high enough.
How Do You Measure Humidity For Reptiles?
It’s really difficult to know if your reptile is in a good or bad environment without measuring humidity.
Luckily, reptile owners all around the world have the same dilemma and a special tool called a hygrometer is an answer to this specific problem. Hygrometers are tools that can measure the relative humidity or moisture in the air. Hygrometers will almost always display their reading as a percentage, which makes it really easy to know if you are in a healthy range or not.
If you’re serious about measuring and maintaining constant humidity, you might want to consider purchasing a few hygrometers. You can place these meters in different places through your reptile’s enclosure. That way, you know that all areas accessible to your little critter are safe for them and whether or not you need to increase or decrease the humidity in your enclosure.
Hygrometers usually come combined with a thermometer, so you won’t have to worry about buying any of those separately!
How To Raise Humidity In An Enclosure
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to raise the humidity in an enclosure.
If you already live in a humid area, you have a head start! However, if you live in a dry climate, you might want to invest in a humidifier for your reptile’s room. This will just make things a little easier for you and your pet all around.
To keep humidity in a reptile tank, one of the easiest things to consider is the substrate. Your substrate has the ability to hold and retain tons of moisture. The right substrate should be able to hold moisture without getting soggy or moldy.
Humidity can also be increased by decreasing ventilation. While you won’t want to get rid of airflow completely, you might want to consider blocking off some of the meshed areas in your reptile’s tank. You can also add a larger water bowl or water features to your setup. Not only will these increase humidity, but your pet might enjoy them! Lastly, regular misting will increase humidity. If you feel like your reptile needs very consistent misting, you’ll want to set up an automated system.
Now, let’s get to our exciting list of reptiles that like to live in humid environments!
10 Reptiles That Like High Humidity
These 10 reptiles are common, moisture-loving pets. These pets range from beginner to advanced in keeping skills, so make sure your read through to understand which choice is best for you!
1. Green Iguana
Green iguanas are one of the largest pet reptiles you can get. They’re interactive, hardy, and can be very friendly with their owners. Green Iguanas love high humidity and should have a range of about 65% – 80% humidity available to them at all times. Of course, green iguanas also love warm-hot temperatures. The problem is, that green iguanas get so big (5 – 7 feet in length) that it can be hard to give them what they need.
If you live in a warm tropical climate like Florida, you may be able to keep your green iguana in a secure enclosure outdoors. But, if that’s not the case, you’ll need a very large indoor enclosure for your green iguana. And, what makes that more difficult is that you will need to keep that enclosure warm and humid. The more space there is, the harder it is to raise humidity, and your adult iguana is going to need space.
Because of this, a green Iguana is a more difficult reptile to care for, But, if you have the space and funds, or you live in a tropical climate, you might be ready to take on an iguana as a pet.
2. Green Anole
On the opposite side of the size spectrum from green iguanas, we have green anoles. These tiny reptiles still love humidity but are much smaller than an iguana and might be easier to care for as well! They’re also surprisingly smart!
Green anoles need about 65% – 70% humidity in their tanks. But, this isn’t usually a problem because their tanks can be so small! In fact, a green anole is one of the rare reptiles that will actually do okay in a 10-gallon tank. If you’re looking for more 10-gallon tank pets, check out our list here. The great thing about a small reptile is that you can change their environment with small adjustments. It’s important to note that these animals require regular misting, so if you’re not home often, you’ll need to set up some sort of automated misting system.
3. Ring-Necked Snake
Ring-necked (not ringneck, a common misnomer) snakes are small snakes that make easy-to-care-for pets. These snakes are indigenous to North America but only do well in surprisingly moist climates! These snakes spend time among the wet leaf little in forests and do best with humidity ranging from 50%-80%. These snakes are small and docile and are good pets for beginner reptile keepers.
One fun thing about these snakes is that they love to burrow. That means you can be creative and have fun with making a natural habitat and substrate. However, this also means you might not see your snake sitting out as much as you’d like to! Luckily these insectivores eat multiple times are week and will come out of hiding for a good snack.
4. Crested Gecko
Crested geckos are one of the cutest pet reptiles in existence! When these geckos look at your straight on, it looks like they are smiling at you.
Not only are they adorable but these geckos are easy to care for, love high humidity and most are very easy to handle. The humidity in a crested gecko’s enclosure should range from about 60% – 80% relative humidity. These tropical geckos love moisture, so regular misting is a must. Luckily, these critters stay small and can be kept in a pretty small enclosure, as long as they have room for climbing and exploring.
It also helps that they’re one of the more affordable lizards available.
5. Crocodile Skink
The red-eyed crocodile skink might be our winner for the most humid pet. These little lizards thrive in environments of up to 100% humidity, but you can aim from anywhere from 70%-90% relative humidity. These amazing lizards look like miniature dragons, and, like many other small reptiles, are perfectly happy in a 20-gallon tank.
Unfortunately, these lizards might not be the best beginner pet. Because of their high humidity requirements, it could be difficult to maintain their health for beginners. Additionally, their tank will have to be kept clean, or else you run the risk of mold and fungal growth, which is dangerous for reptiles. If you’re confident in your ability to maintain a clean and humid environment, these lizards could still be a great option for you!
6. Rainbow Boa
Rainbow boas are another snake species that loves high humidity. These snakes are indigenous to Brazil and like spending time in moist climates with trees for climbing. Surprisingly, these snakes don’t need an insane amount of heat but do need about 70% – 95% humidity.
These snakes need to have a wet environment! One way to make sure your snake always has the humidity they need is to provide a humid hiding place. You can take a plastic tub and fill it with moist peat moss. This can act as a space for your snake to enter when they need a little extra moisture. You should also make sure that your rainbow boas enclosure is regularly misted. Because these snakes will grow to be about 4 – 7 feet long, you’ll need a larger enclosure to keep your snake happy for its 20 years of life.
7. Chinese Water Dragon
Chinese water dragons are medium-sized lizards that are commonly kept as pets. These pets look similar to green iguanas but don’t get nearly as large. Chinese water dragons should be kept in enclosures of about 80% relative humidity. As their name suggests, Chinese water dragons enjoy spending time swimming and soaking in water. The best enclosures for these animals will include some type of water feature that is large enough for them to swim in regularly.
8. Asian Water Monitor
Asian water monitors are humidity-loving lizards that are indigenous to China. Asian water monitors are notoriously friendly, but happen to be one of the largest monitor species in the world! Because of their size, they may be difficult animals to care for.
Asian water monitors need about 60%-70% relative humidity. Again, this can be difficult to simulate in a large enclosure. These pets are known for their intelligence and will need a lot of room and stimulation to be happy. That means that if you don’t already live in a humid environment, you will need to spend a lot of time and money maintaining proper humidity for your water monitor.
9. Day Gecko
While there are many different species of day geckos, they all have similar humidity requirements. Day geckos need humidity ranges of 60% – 80% to thrive. |Day geckos aren’t the first recommendation for new reptile fans because they can be temperamental. They have special lighting requirements that mean that you will spend time and money making sure your gecko gets sufficient light throughout the day.
10. Tokay Gecko
Tokay geckos are our last reptile that loves humidity! These geckos should have an enclosure with a relative humidity of around 70%. These geckos are sneaky and love to hide, so their enclosures should mimic to look and feel of a jungle! Tokay geckos will often use their entire enclosure to explore, climb and play. To increase hiding places and moisture in your gecko’s enclosure, you can try adding live plants into their tanks.
There are so many good choices for reptiles that like humidity. You can find moisture-loving reptiles that are easy to care for and almost impossible to care for. If you live in a humid area, you will have an easier time caring for some of our larger moisture-loving pets like the Asian water monitor and the green iguana. Smaller tropical reptiles like green anoles can be kept in small tanks that are easy to keep humid and moist all day long. Hopefully, this article has given you some great insight into your next pet reptile.