29+ Reptiles That Are Red (With Videos)

Reptiles That Are Red

We’ve talked about the striking appearance of reptiles a few times, specifically their vibrant colors whether that’s blue, fiery orange, or even white! Of course, as reptile enthusiasts the need to explore more colors is natural, so if you’re wondering if there are red-colored reptiles out there you’re in the right place.

So, what reptiles come in the color red?

A great number of red reptiles exist in the wild and some are considered great pets. Types of red reptiles include many lizards and snakes, like iguanas, panther chameleons, red tegus, red-crested geckos, Uromastyx Geyri, red spitting cobras, coral red kukri, scarletsnakes, red amazon tree boas, as well as the red-footed tortoises, among many others.

Before we take a closer look at our long list of red reptiles, including amphibians we will explain why some animals are so colorful and certain reptiles are red.

So, let’s get started!

Why Are Some Animals So Colorful?

Different animals display a number of different colors, and it all boils down to survival, whether it’s to camouflage themselves from a predator or unsuspected prey, or to stand out and attract a mate.

Let’s take tigers and their stripes for example. According to Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine Andrew Cushing “Their vertical stripes, which range from brown to black, are an example of what biologists call disruptive coloration. They help break up the cat’s shape and size so it blends in with trees and tall grasses.”

In other words, their stripes help them hunt down their prey more successfully.

Just like reptiles, birds, especially males are often very colorful, and not only do they use their incredible colorations to attract females, but in some cases, their brilliant colors function primarily in male-male competition over territories. 

Vividly colored lizards, similarly to birds, use their coloring as a sexual signal for mates, but colorful snakes and amphibians use their bright colors as a warning for predators, signaling how toxic they might be, even if they may not.

Why Are Some Reptiles Red?

It truly depends on the reptile, since red coloration could easily function as camouflage, like in the case of bearded dragons that live in red-toned tropical savannahs and deserts where their red, brown, orange, and yellow colors can help hide them and protect them.

The same can be said about certain snakes, but some red-colored snakes may also use their red color or red markings as a signal to predators that this reptile is toxic or dangerous, even if that’s not always true.

Since we are going to mention a few amphibians on our list it’s important to mention that the red coloring of the strawberry poison-dart frogs is a stern warning that keeps predators away, otherwise they will ingest a deadly toxin.

When it comes to colors like red, orange, and yellow, researchers found that these colors were used with similar frequency as both a way to avoid predators and as a way for mate attraction. Which makes sense since many of these reptiles live in mostly green environments and that could hinder the possibility of finding their mate if they were completely green themselves.

For some reptiles, being red helps them with their body’s temperature regulation, but let’s not forget that a reptile’s coloration is also determined by its genetic makeup. Some of the reptiles on our list have vivid red colorations because of selective breeding in captivity.

Finally, try to remember that the red coloration can vary between different species of reptiles and may be influenced by a combination of these factors.

29 Reptiles That Are Red

There are plenty of reptiles that exhibit vibrant red coloration or have intense red markings, which as you can imagine 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 red, some of which make suitable pets, but not all of them, so we’ll make sure to let you know which ones do!

Here is a detailed description of some red reptiles:

Lizards

First on our list are red-colored lizards! Some are entirely red and many lizards have beautiful bright red markings on them, or they are partly red.

1. Green Iguana

The green iguana is a large lizard found in Central and South America and despite their name they can have a red or reddish brown coloration specifically from the western region of Costa Rica.

This red coloration is more pronounced in males and is thought to play a role in attracting a mate. Iguanas are herbivorous and are known for their strong jaws and sharp teeth that allow them to feed on a variety of plant material.

While iguanas can be kept as pets, they grow quite large and have specific care requirements, as you can discover in more detail in our Green Iguana care sheet.

2. Fire Skink

The fire skink is a small lizard found in West and Central Africa. They are known for their bright red and orange coloration, which is most vibrant along its back and sides.

Fire skinks are omnivorous and feed on a variety of insects, small vertebrates, and plant material. They can be kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a humid environment and a spacious enclosure with plenty of hiding spots.

3. Gargoyle Gecko

The gargoyle gecko is a small gecko found on the island of New Caledonia. It is known for its bumpy skin and distinctive coloration, which can include bands or patches of red, orange, and brown.

The gargoyle gecko is a nocturnal species and is an expert climber, thanks to its specialized toe pads. They are insectivorous and feed on a variety of insects, as well as nectar and fruit.

Gargoyle geckos can be kept as pets and are popular in the pet trade due to their striking appearance and relatively simple care requirements.

5. Red Tegu

The red tegu is a large lizard found in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It is known for its bright red coloration, which is most vibrant along its back and sides.

Red Tegus are really smart and can be kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious enclosure, a basking area, and a varied diet of insects, small animals, and fruits.

They can grow to roughly 5 feet in length and their powerful jaws can cause major damage, which makes them a bad choice for inexperienced owners.

6. Borneo Forest Dragon

The Borneo forest dragon is a lizard species native to the forests of Borneo. It has a striking appearance with a bright red head, greenish body, and sometimes red tail.

The forest dragon is arboreal, meaning it spends most of its time in the trees. It feeds on insects and small vertebrates.

It is not commonly kept as a pet, due to its specific habitat requirements and the difficulty in replicating its natural environment in captivity.

7. Bearded Dragon

The bearded dragon is a popular pet reptile native to Australia. Although they are generally tan to yellow in color, selective breeding has produced a morph known as the ‘red-bearded dragon’, which has a deep red coloration.

Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature so they are great pets even for the less experienced reptile owners. They are omnivorous and feed on a varied diet of insects, vegetables, and fruits.

8. Brilliant South American Gecko

The brilliant South American gecko is a small, diurnal gecko found in the rainforests of South America.

It is known for its vibrant red and orange coloration, which contrasts with its dark eyes and toes. The brilliant South American gecko is an insectivorous species and feeds on a variety of insects. But is not commonly kept as a pet due to its specific habitat requirements and active nature.

10. Red Crested Gecko

The red crested gecko is a color morph of the crested gecko, a species native to New Caledonia. It is known for its vibrant red coloration and the distinctive crests that run from its eyes down its back.

Crested geckos are popular pets due to their striking appearance and relatively simple care requirements!

11. Panther Chameleon

The panther chameleon is a species of chameleon found in Madagascar, known for their vibrant coloration, which can include shades of red, blue, green, and yellow. Those from Ambilobe, Antsiranana, and Sambava are red, green, or orange.

Males are typically more brightly colored than females. The coloration of panther chameleons can change based on their mood, temperature, and light levels.

Panther chameleons can be kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious enclosure, and a varied diet of insects.

12. Oriental Garden Lizard

The oriental garden lizard, also known as the eastern garden lizard or changeable lizard, is found in Asia. It has the ability to change color based on their mood and surroundings. Males develop bright red and black coloration on their throats during the breeding season.

They are insectivorous and feed on a variety of insects. They are not commonly kept as pets due to their active nature and specific habitat requirements.

13. Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama

The Mwanza flat-headed rock agama, also known as the Spider-Man agama, is found in East Africa. Admittedly this lizard’s colorations are striking, with males having a bright red or orange head and blue body, resembling the comic book superhero Spider-Man.

They are insectivorous and feed on a variety of insects. They can be kept as pets, but they have specific care requirements, including a need for a spacious enclosure with plenty of rocks for basking and hiding, and a diet of insects.

14. Red-Striped Leopard Gecko

The red-striped leopard gecko is a color morph of the leopard gecko, a popular pet reptile native to the deserts of Asia and the Middle East. It is known for its distinctive red stripes, which contrast with its pale yellow or white body.

They are popular pets due to their docile nature and relatively simple care requirements, which include a warm, dry enclosure and a diet of insects.

Snakes

Next, we have red snakes, many of which shouldn’t be kept as pets!

16. Red Spitting Cobra

The red spitting cobra is found in East Africa and is known for its ability to spit venom at its predators or threats. It has a distinctive red or orange coloration with black bands or spots along its body.

The red spitting cobra feeds on toads and frogs if they’re available. It is not recommended as a pet due to its venomous nature and the potential danger it poses.

17. Bamboo Rat Snake

The bamboo rat snake is found in Southeast Asia, with breathtaking bright red or orange coloration. It feeds primarily on rodents and is a crepuscular species.

Although it is non-venomous, the bamboo rat snake is not commonly kept as a pet due to its specific habitat requirements and active nature, but it must be noted that it’s still a well-sought-after rat snake species.

18. Brazilian Rainbow Boa

The Brazilian rainbow boa is known for its striking red or orange coloration and iridescent scales. It is found in the rainforests of South America and feeds on small vertebrates.

The Brazilian rainbow boa can be kept as a pet, preferably by intermediate reptile owners due to their specific care requirements, including a need for a humid environment and a diet of rodents.

19. Uromastyx Geyri

The Uromastyx Geyri, also known as the Saharan spiny-tailed lizard, is a species of lizard found in the Saharan desert. They also have bright red or orange coloration, which is most vibrant in males.

It is herbivorous and feeds on a variety of plant material. Uromastyx Geyri can be kept as a pet, but it has specific care requirements, including a need for a hot, dry well-ventilated enclosure.

20. Coral Red Kukri

The coral red kukri snake is a rare and poorly known species. It is a non-venomous snake found in Southeast Asia, with bright coral red or orange coloration and distinctive kukri-shaped teeth.

It feeds primarily on bird and reptile eggs. This snake is actually protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 so it’s unlikely that you get to own it as a pet reptile.

21. Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon tree boa is a non-venomous snake found in the rainforests of South America. It is known for its striking red coloration and arboreal nature.

The red Amazon tree boa can be kept as a pet, but it has specific care requirements, including a need for a humid, arboreal enclosure and a diet of rodents, plus they are considered notoriously irritable.

22. Scarlet Snake

The scarlet snake is a non-venomous snake found in the southeastern United States, with its iconic bright red or orange coloration and distinctive black and white bands.

It feeds primarily on reptile eggs and is nocturnal. It is not commonly kept as a pet due to its secretive nature and specific habitat requirements.

23. Milksnake

The milksnake is a non-venomous snake found in North and South America. Similarly to the scarlet snake, the milkshake is known for its bright red or orange coloration and distinctive black and white bands.

Milksnakes can be kept as pets and are popular in the pet trade due to their striking appearance and relatively simple care requirements, including a diet of rodents.

24. Coral Snake

The coral snake is a venomous snake found in North and South America. It is known for its bright red or orange coloration and distinctive black and white bands. Despite its striking appearance, it is not recommended as a pet due to its venomous nature and the potential danger it poses.

25. Corn Snake or Red Rat Snake

The corn snake, also known as the red rat snake, is a powerful, non-venomous snake found in the southeastern United States. It’s a truly gorgeous snake with its bright red or orange coloration and distinctive black and white checkered belly.

Corn snakes are popular beginner-friendly pets due to their docile nature and relatively simple care requirements, including a diet of rodents.

26. Mud Snake

The mud snake is a non-venomous highly aquatic snake found in the southeastern United States. It is known for its shiny black coloration with a bright red or pink belly. It is not commonly kept as a pet due to its specific habitat requirements and because they’re picky eaters.

27. Red-Headed Krait

The red-headed krait is a venomous snake found in Southeast Asia. As the name suggests this gorgeous snake has a red head and black and white banded body, as well as a red tail tip.

While I’m sure we would all love to have such a beautiful reptile in our home, the red-headed krait is not recommended as a pet due to its venomous nature and the potential danger it poses.

28. Sumatran Blood Python

The Sumatran blood python is a non-venomous snake found in Sumatra. It is a breathtaking snake with its striking red or orange coloration and distinctive black-and-white markings.

The Sumatran blood python can be kept as a pet, but they are not easy to find, and because of their specific care requirements, including a need for a humid environment and a diet of rodents, they are not suitable for beginners.

Tortoise

While there are no turtles on our list it’s worth checking the beautiful tortoise that comes in the color red!

29. Red-Footed Tortoise

The red-footed tortoise is found in Central and South America and is known for its distinctive red or orange scales on its legs, head, and tail. It is an omnivorous species that feeds on a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, and small invertebrates.

Red-footed tortoises live upward of 50 years and they are a popular pet not only because of their dog-like qualities but due to their relatively simple care requirements, including a spacious enclosure, and a varied diet. It is important to provide them with a suitable environment so they can live a long and happy life!

Amphibians

Finally, there are a few amphibians on our list, mostly frogs and they are either completely red or partially red. For the most part, red amphibians are a warning sign in nature, but in some cases, it could also be their way of attracting mates.

So, let’s check them out!

30. Red-Backed Poison Dart Frog

The red-backed poison dart frog is native to Ecuador and Peru and is known for its striking red or orange back, black legs, and belly. It is a small frog and due to its toxic skin, it is not recommended as a pet. In the wild, its vibrant coloration warns predators of its toxicity.

31. Madagascar Tomato Frog

The Madagascar tomato frog is native to Madagascar and as the name suggests these frogs can be as red as tomatoes or have a bright orange coloration.

It is a relatively large frog that feeds on insects and is nocturnal. Not only are these frogs toxic but they can also inflate themselves to deter predators that’s why they’re not recommended as pets, especially for beginners, and should be handled with caution by those who are experienced.

32. Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

The strawberry poison dart frog is native to Central America, with a distinct bright red or orange coloration and blue legs.

As the name suggests these frogs are toxic, but not in captivity. Still, they’re not recommended as pets for beginners due to their specific care requirements and potential risks, they’re best treated as hands-off pets.

33. Granulated Poison Frog

The granulated poison frog is native to the rainforests of Colombia and is known for its granulated skin and bright red or orange coloration. Due to its toxic skin, it is not recommended as a pet. In the wild, its vibrant coloration warns predators of its toxicity.

34. African Red Toad

The African red toad is found in several regions of Africa and as you can imagine they are quite red, but they can also have orange coloration which is more vibrant in males.

Although it is not toxic, it is not commonly kept as a pet due to its specific habitat requirements and active nature, especially by an inexperienced reptile/amphibian owner.

35. Anthony’s Poison Arrow Frog

Anthony’s poison arrow frog is native to the Amazon rainforest and it’s a truly bright red or orange frog with green stripes and black spots. Due to its toxic skin, it is not recommended as a pet. As you can already guess, in the wild, its vibrant coloration warns predators of its toxicity.

36. Red-backed Toadlet

The red-backed toadlet is found in the forests of Eastern Australia and it sports a very distinctive patch of red or orange on the granulated skin of its back.

While they are poisonous to small animals and reptiles and not so much to people, they are commonly not kept as pets and it’s advised that if you ever handle one you should not touch your eyes or mouth.

37. Golden Mantella

The golden mantella is native to Madagascar and is known for its vibrant golden, red, or orange coloration. Although it is not toxic, its bright coloration mimics that of the toxic species in its habitat, which deters predators.

This frog is not commonly kept as a pet due to its specific habitat requirements and conservation status as an endangered species.

Closing Thoughts

It’s clear that there are so many unique red reptiles in the world, from lizards, and snakes to turtles and because we wanted to create a well-rounded list we even have some red amphibians here.

These red reptiles are great to look at and while you may not want to meet some of them in the wild, 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 red coloration make sure you can offer them the perfect environment where they can thrive!