While animals come in all shapes and sizes, reptiles are probably the most eye-catching and striking animals out there. Not only because of their unique appearance, but also the bright colors they usually have, from unique color combinations to impressive hues of various colors like blue, green, and red among many others.
But we’re here to talk about a very specific color and that’s orange.
So, what reptiles come in the color orange?
A great number of orange reptiles exist in the wild and some are considered great pets. Types of orange reptiles include many lizards and snakes, like flame crested or tangerine leopard geckos, rainbow agamas and fire skinks, rainbow boas, African bush vipers, and corn snakes, as well as the eastern box turtle, among many others.
Before we take a closer look at our long list of orange reptiles, including amphibians we will explain why some animals are so colorful and certain reptiles are orange.
So, let’s get started!
Why Are Some Animals So Colorful?
In nature, you can find animals displaying a number of different colors, from muted earth tones to bright colors like orange as we’re going to discuss here today.
According to the University of Arizona, “vividly colored lizards and birds typically use their coloring as a sexual signal for mates. In contrast, colorful amphibians and snakes generally wear them as a warning signal for predators.”
When it comes to colors like red, orange, and yellow, researchers found that these were used with similar frequency as both a way to avoid predators and as a way for mate attraction.
So, not only are bright colors like orange strikingly beautiful, but they serve an important survival purpose!
So, Why Are Some Reptiles Orange?
The answer to this question will depend on the type of reptile we’re talking about and their environment. For example, it’s possible for a reptile to use their orange color as camouflage.
Bearded dragons’ natural habitats include woodlands, coastal dunes, heathland, tropical savannahs, and deserts so it makes sense that they often come in brown, yellow, orange, and red colors. Being orange in orange or red-toned soil, rocks or vegetation can provide an excellent means of camouflage and protection.
On the other hand, a reptile’s bright orange color, as mentioned above could be a warning signal to potential predators. This vibrant color can signal to predators that this reptile is toxic or dangerous, even if that’s not always true.
Some colors work better as a mating signal in different habitats. A green lizard in a green environment might be difficult to spot when it comes to mating, that’s why colors like reds, oranges, and yellows usually work really well in such closed environments. Additionally, in some reptile species, males with the brightest coloration are more attractive to females and are more likely to secure a mate.
For some reptiles, being orange helps them regulate their body temperature according to their natural environment, whether that’s absorbing more or less heat from the sun.
Let’s not forget that the coloration of reptiles is also determined by their genetic makeup. Different combinations of genes can produce different colors and patterns. Selective breeding in captivity has produced many reptile morphs, like white snakes for example, that may not be commonly found in the wild.
It’s important to note that the significance of orange coloration can vary between different species of reptiles and may be influenced by a combination of these factors.
Reptiles That Are Orange
Some reptiles exhibit vibrant orange coloration, which makes them particularly interesting to enthusiasts and pet owners alike. On this list, we’ll highlight lizards, snakes, turtles, and even some amphibians that are orange, but not all of these reptiles make suitable pets, we’ll make sure to let you know which ones do!
Here is a detailed description of some orange reptiles:
Let’s start with orange lizards first! Some lizards are entirely orange and many lizards have beautiful bright orange markings on them, or they are partly orange.
1. Frilled Lizard
The frilled lizard, or frilled dragon, native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, is famous for its large frill around its neck, which it displays when threatened, something you will rarely witness when they’re kept as pets. While the body is mostly brownish or grey, it can show orange and red tones. The frill itself is often orange-red, making a striking contrast with the body.
As mentioned already, frilled lizards can be kept as pets, though their care can be quite complex due to their specific habitat needs. Adult frilled dragons need very large enclosures and substantial heat and humidity to stay healthy.
Green Iguanas are commonly kept as pets, although they require a significant amount of care and space, as you can discover in more detail in our Green Iguana care sheet.
These magnificent reptiles come in different colors including orange hues, specifically from the western region of Costa Rica are red, and animals of the northern ranges, such as Mexico.
3. Flame Crested Gecko
The flame crested gecko is a morph of the crested gecko, and as the name suggests, they’re characterized by their vibrant orange coloration with cream or white lateral stripes. This striking coloration makes them a popular choice among pet reptile enthusiasts.
Crested geckos, in general, are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable pets for beginners and experienced keepers alike.
4. Eastern Pilbara Spiny-Tail Skink
Endemic to the Pilbara region of Western Australia, this skink exhibits an orange-brown color with darker spots or bands. Their tail, as the name suggests, is spiny and slightly flattened.
This species is not commonly kept as a pet, mainly due to their specific habitat requirements, and the fact that they’re less known in the pet trade compared to other skink species.
5. Banded Knob-Tail Gecko
The banded knob-tail gecko is native to Australia and is known for the thick bands of orange and brown that decorate their body and tail. The tail ends in a small, knob-like structure, which gives this species its name.
It is a popular pet reptile due to its striking appearance and relatively manageable care requirements, though it is recommended for intermediate to advanced keepers due to its specific habitat needs and the fact that the banded knob-tail gecko is usually less tolerant of handling compared to other geckos.
6. Bearded Dragon
The bearded dragon is native to Australia and is one of the most popular pet reptiles worldwide. It has a variety of morphs, with some displaying beautiful shades of orange.
Bearded dragons are known for their friendly and calm demeanor, making them excellent pets for beginners and experienced keepers alike. The ‘orange’ morphs are particularly sought after in the pet trade.
7. Oriental Garden Lizard
Also known as the Eastern Garden Lizard or Changeable Lizard, this species is found in wide areas of Asia. They exhibit a range of colors, including shades of brown, red, and orange, especially during the breeding season when males display bright orange heads and dorsal to attract females.
Despite their incredible beauty the Oriental garden lizard is not commonly kept as a pet.
8. Gila Monster
The Gila monster is one of only two venomous lizard species in the world and is found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has a distinctive appearance with rough, bumpy skin and bright orange or pink and black patterns across its body.
While they are admittedly really cute, due to their venomous bite and specific care requirements, they’re not recommended as a pet and are illegal to own in many places.
9. Brown Anole
The brown anole is a small lizard native to the Caribbean and has been introduced in other parts of the world. It usually displays brown or greyish coloration, but males can exhibit an orange dewlap (a flap of skin on the throat) during courtship displays or when asserting dominance.
While they are sometimes kept as pets, they are not as popular as green anoles due to their less vibrant coloration.
10. Tangerine Leopard Gecko
The tangerine leopard gecko is a captive-bred morph of the leopard gecko, characterized by its bright orange coloration. Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pet reptiles due to their docile nature and relatively simple care requirements.
As you can imagine the tangerine morph, with its striking coloration, is particularly popular among enthusiasts!
11. Broadhead skink
The broadhead skink is found in the southeastern United States and is the largest skink species in this region. Adults usually have a brown or olive coloration, but during the breeding season, males develop bright orange heads and jaws.
It must be mentioned that the broadhead skins are not kept as pets, and they are not as commonly found in the pet trade as other skink species.
12. South Indian or Peninsular Rock Agamas
These agamas are found in the rocky regions of South India. Males display striking colors during the breeding season, with the body being mostly bright orange or red. Females and non-breeding males are usually brown or olive with white undersides.
While they can be kept as pets, they are not as commonly found in the pet trade as other agama species.
13. Common Butterfly Lizard
The common butterfly lizard is found in parts of Southeast Asia and has a distinctive butterfly-shaped frill on the back of its head. This lizard is characterized by its greenish-grey color, an eye-catching pattern with yellowish spots, and handsome black and orange markings along the flank. Juveniles are striped and have a reddish tail.
While they can be kept as pets, and a rise in their popularity has been noticed, they require a spacious enclosure and a carefully controlled environment, which makes them less suitable for beginners.
14. Spiny-Tailed Lizard
Spiny-tailed lizards, or Uromastyx, are found in North Africa and the Middle East. They have spiny tails, as the name suggests, and their coloration varies between species and individuals. Some species or individuals can display shades of orange, particularly on the belly or sides.
While they are kept as pets, they require a hot, dry environment and a specialized diet. It’s also worth mentioning that the conditions of these animals while being sold are often extremely poor.
15. Yellow-Headed Gecko
The yellow-headed gecko is native to Central and South America. It has a distinctive yellow or orange head, while the body is usually grey or brown with darker markings. It’s also worth mentioning that males are more brightly colored than females.
They are sometimes kept as pets, while shy yellow-headed geckos are hardy reptiles, but they still have specific care requirements, including a need for high humidity and a varied diet.
16. Rainbow Agama
Also known as the red-headed rock agama or common agama, this lizard is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. Males display bright colors, including orange, during the breeding season to attract females. The body is vivid blue and green while the head is red or bright orange. Females and non-breeding males are usually brown or olive.
They can be kept as pets, but they require a spacious enclosure and a controlled environment, most importantly an experienced reptile owner.
17. Fire Skink
The fire skink, native to Western Africa, is known for its vibrant coloration, which includes bright orange and red stripes along its body. The bright colors make it a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts, although fire skinks can be a bit shy and reclusive. As a pet, it requires a humid environment and a spacious enclosure with plenty of hiding spots.
18. Common Green Forest Lizard
This lizard is found in found in the forests of the Western Ghats and the Shevaroy Hills in India, and Sri Lanka. While the common green forest lizard is mostly green, males develop bright orange and red coloration on their heads and backs during the breeding season. They are not commonly kept as pets.
19. Galápagos Lava Lizard
The Galápagos lava lizard is found on the Galápagos Islands and exhibits a range of colors, including shades of brown, grey, and orange. The males are usually brighter colored with yellow specks or gold stripes while females can have a red throat or head. Due to their specific habitat requirements and protected status, they are not kept as pets.
20. Northern Caiman Lizard
The northern caiman lizard is found in the rainforests of South America. It has a bright orange head and throat, with a greenish-brown body. It is sometimes kept as a pet, but it has specific care requirements, a specialized diet, including a need for large, enclosures with the water area taking up one-third to one-half of the enclosure, as well as plants and branches for them to climb.
21. Orange Throated Flat Lizard
The orange-throated flat lizard is native to Southern Africa and is known for its striking coloration. As the name suggests the males have bright orange throats and bellies, while the body is usually blue or grey with black markings. Females are usually brown or olive with white undersides. Despite their incredibly beautiful looks they are not commonly kept as pets.
While many of the snakes on this list shouldn’t be kept as pets it’s still worth knowing which ones come in the color orange!
22. African Bush Viper
The African bush viper is a venomous snake found in the rainforests of Western and Central Africa. It has a striking appearance with keeled, rough scales and a variety of colorations, including shades of orange, green, and brown. Due to their venomous nature and specific care requirements, African bush vipers are not recommended as pets!
23. Rainbow Boas
Rainbow boas are found in Central and South America. They are known for their iridescent scales, which can reflect a rainbow of colors, including orange. The Brazilian rainbow boa, a subspecies of the rainbow boa, is particularly popular in the pet trade due to its vibrant coloration and relatively docile nature, plus they don’t smell bad! However, they require specific care, they’re a great choice for intermediate reptile owners.
24. Corn Snake
Corn snakes are native to North America and are one of the most popular pet snakes due to their docile nature and relatively simple care requirements. They come in a variety of morphs, including the ‘Okeetee’ morph, which has bright orange scales with bold black borders. The ‘Amelanistic’ morph also exhibits bright orange coloration but lacks the black borders seen in the Okeetee.
25. Southern Shovel-nosed Snake
This snake is found in the sandy deserts of Australia. It has a distinctive shovel-shaped snout, which it uses to burrow into the sand. The body is usually orange or reddish-brown with darker bands.
Due to their very specific care requirements, these snakes are rare in captivity. Furthermore, they are not easy to keep and they often refuse food.
26. Ring-Necked Snake
The ring-necked snake is found across much of North America. It is typically grey or black with a bright orange or yellow underside and a distinctive ring around its neck of the same orange or yellow color.
Although they are mildly venomous, they are not considered dangerous to humans. Perhaps not the most common pet these snakes are small and docile and are good pets for beginner reptile keepers. These snakes spend most of their times time among the wet leaves in forests and do best with humidity ranging from 50%-80%.
27. Red Diamond Rattlesnake
The red diamond rattlesnake is a venomous snake found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has a distinctive diamond pattern along its back, which can range in color from orange to brown. Due to its venomous nature, it is not recommended as a pet!
28. Ground Snake
The ground snake is found in north America and northern Mexico. It is a small, non-venomous snake with a variety of color morphs, including some with bright orange bands or blotches. They are not commonly found in the pet trade due to their small size and specific and specialized care requirements.
29. Pine Woods Littersnake
The pine woods littersnake is found in the southeastern United States. It is a small, non-venomous snake with typically reddish-orange to reddish-brown in color and a yellowish or white underside. Although they can be kept as pets, they are not commonly found in the pet trade due to their secretive nature and specific habitat requirements.
30. Mountain Kingsnake
The mountain kingsnake is a stunning-looking snake, found in the northern United States and Mexico. They are great at camouflaging and they’re known for their striking pattern of red, black, and white bands. Some populations have more of an orange tint to the red bands. They are sometimes kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements and should be handled by experienced owners.
31. Gray-Banded Kingsnake
The gray-banded kingsnake is found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It has a distinctive pattern of grey or beige bands with orange or red interspaces.
They are popular in the pet trade due to their striking appearance and relatively docile nature. However, they have specific care requirements, including a need for a controlled environment and a varied diet, so some experience is definitely required!
32. Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake
The eastern hog-nosed snake is found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is known for its distinctive upturned snout and its ability to play dead when threatened. The coloration can vary widely between individuals, but some exhibit orange or tan coloration with darker spots.
Although they can be kept as pets, they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious enclosure and a varied diet, so you need to be experienced.
While there are no tortoise on our list it’s worth checking the two beautiful turtles that come in the color orange!
33. Eastern Box Turtle
The eastern box turtle is found in the eastern United States. It is known for its high-domed shell and bright coloration, which includes orange, yellow, and black markings on the shell and skin.
They can be kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious enclosure with both land and water areas, and a varied diet that includes both animal and plant matter.
34. Red-Bellied Short-Necked Turtle
The red-bellied short-necked turtle is native to northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is known for its bright red or orange belly, which contrasts with its dark brown or black shell.
They are popular in the pet trade due to their striking appearance and relatively small size. However, they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious aquatic enclosure, a basking area, and a varied diet.
There are a few amphibians, mostly frogs that are strikingly orange. For the most part, orange amphibians are a warning sign in nature, and it could also be their way of attracting mates.
So, let’s check them out!
35. Pacman Frog
The Pacman frog, also known as the ornate horned frog, is native to South America. It is known for its large mouth and round body, which resemble the video game character Pac-Man. It has a variety of color morphs, including some with bright orange coloration.
They are popular in the pet trade due to their striking appearance and relatively simple care requirements, which include a spacious terrarium with a shallow water dish and a diet of insects and small vertebrates. But remember that they can bite!
36. Pearly Tree Frog
The pearly tree frog is found in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia. It is known for its distinctive white or cream-colored spots on a dark background, which resemble pearls. Although it is not typically orange, some individuals may have an orange tint to their skin.
They are not commonly kept as pets due to their specific habitat requirements and active nature, but most importantly because they’re listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
37. Burmese Squat Frog
The Burmese squat frog is found in Southeast Asia. It is known for its robust, rounded body and distinctive coloration, which includes an orange or reddish-brown back with darker markings. They are sometimes kept as pets, they are long-lived but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a humid environment and a diet of insects.
38. Eastern Red-Spotted Newt
The eastern red-spotted newt is found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is known for its bright orange or red coloration and distinctive black spots. The coloration is most vibrant in the terrestrial ‘red eft’ stage of its life cycle.
They are sometimes kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for both land and water areas in their enclosure and a varied diet.
39. Golden Poison Frog
It is known for its bright yellow or orange coloration, which serves as a warning to predators. Due to its toxicity and specific care requirements, it is not recommended as a pet.
40. Pumpkin Toadlet
The pumpkin toadlet is found in the rainforests of southeastern Brazil. It is known for its bright orange coloration and tiny size, which as you can tell by its name, make it resemble a miniature pumpkin. They are not commonly kept as pets due to their specific habitat requirements and active nature.
As you can see there are so many amazingly beautiful orange reptiles in the world, from lizards, and snakes to turtles and we even have some orange amphibians on our list. Many of these reptiles can be kept as pets as long as you have the right conditions to keep them happy.
So, before you choose your reptile for their fiery orange coloration make sure you can offer them the perfect environment where they can thrive!