Animals come in all shapes and sizes! One color we don’t often see on animals is the color blue. In mammals, you almost never see it. Many birds and fish are blue, and there are even some blue reptiles. So what makes a reptile blue? And which pet reptiles are blue?
In this article, we’ll highlight more than 15 types of reptiles that are blue.
Blue reptiles exist in the wild and some even make great pets. Types of blue reptiles include many lizards and snakes like tokay geckos and blue racers. Blue coloration can be a warning sign in nature, but it doesn’t always mean an animal is venomous or dangerous.
Now, let’s talk about why some animals are blue and some aren’t. Then we’ll discuss how reptiles get their blue color. Finally, we’ll talk about our blue reptiles and whether they’re only found in the wild or can be domesticated as pets!
Why Are Some Animals So Colorful?
In nature, you can find animals that are so well camouflaged you wouldn’t see them unless you stepped on them. On the other hand, you can find animals that stand out and are very brightly colored.
So, why is this?
Birds can be found in many different bright colors. It seems that birds use their brightly colored feathers as part of a courtship routine and a way to attract a mate. They’ll flash their feathers to try to attract another bird. Other animals like reptiles might use bright colors to warn predators that they are dangerous. In nature, bright colors can often signal to a predator that the animals they’re about to eat might actually be poisonous!
So, not only are bright colors cool, but they serve a purpose!
Why Are Some Reptiles Blue?
There are different theories on how animals appear blue. In some instances, it is believed that animal isn’t actually blue, but scattered light is making them appear blue. In other instances, a blue color might come from a mix of yellow and green pigments.
Rayleigh scattering is a theory that explains the blue color of many things that we can see.
Basically, when rayleigh scattering occurs, light hits and reflects off of molecules in the air. The reflection of the scattered light appears blue when we see it. The reason that the sky looks blue is actually because of rayleigh scattering.
Rayleigh scattering explains the blue color of many birds. While birds produce brown and black pigments, their beautiful blue colors are caused by the shape of their feathers and the pockets of keratin and air that they create. In short, many birds aren’t technically blue, they just look that way to us!
But, the explanation for reptiles’ coloration goes a bit deeper than this scattering effect.
Reptiles are one group of animals that may actually produce pigments that display a blue hue. Then, rayleigh scattering comes into play and enhances the colors of these animals.
Some reptiles have iridophores under their skin. Reptiles have iridophores that produce a yellow color. Iridophores, also called guanophores, create a crystalline substance under the skin that reflects and scatters light. These iridophores in combination with a light scattering effect are responsible for the beautiful blue colors we can see in some reptiles.
So even though reptiles can’t produce blue and green pigments, the yellow the do produce causes than to look bluer than birds do.
15+ Reptiles That Are Blue
Finally, we’ve made it to our list of blue reptiles. On this list, we’ll highlight lizards, snakes, turtles, and even some amphibians that are blue. Remember, not all of these reptiles make suitable pets, but we’ll make sure to let you know which ones do!
Lizards are probably the most common blue-colored groups of reptiles. There are a few lizards that are entirely blue and many lizards that have beautiful bright blue markings on them.
1. Tokay Gecko
Tokay geckos are small blue lizards with orange spots all over them. These lizards are popular pet reptiles. Tokay geckos are arboreal and nocturnal. They’ll need plenty of space to climb since they can get pretty big, and you won’t see them out much during the day.
These geckos are notoriously sassy and don’t usually enjoy being handled. They’ll bite and hiss at owners when they feel threatened. But, if you’re looking for a beautiful pet to observe, these lizards are a great option.
2. Blue Anole
Blue anoles are tiny jungle lizards that are completely covered in a vibrant blue color. Their dewlap is white, which makes their blue stand out even more. Blue anoles are only found on one small island in the Pacific.
Blue anoles can be kept as pets, but are less common than green anoles. If you’re looking for a pet that stays small, anoles are one of the smallest reptiles that you can keep. Anoles are another species of reptile that shouldn’t be handled. They’re small and delicate and can be lost easily if dropped.
3. Sinai Agama
The Sinai agama is a small desert-dwelling lizard found in northwestern Africa. The brilliantly blue lizards aren’t kept as pets but can be observed in the wild. Unfortunately, the blue hue is only found in males during the breeding season. These lizards are pretty common and are active during the hot desert days.
4. Blue Tree Monitor
Another blue lizard that can be kept in captivity is the blue tree monitor. These monitors are endangered in the wild and like the blue anole are only found endemically on one small island. These monitors are black with blue scales scattered across their bodies. Monitors are a big commitment to make as a reptile owner. They’re large and live for a long time.
5. Blue Panther Chameleon
In general, panther chameleons are known for their vibrant morphs. While females generally stay brown to orangeish, males can be found in many vibrant hues. The color of the lizards usually varies based on where they’re from. One color morph is a stunning blue.
Panther chameleons are good pets for people who want to watch their reptiles move around their enclosure. These lizards are diurnal and will hunt small insects throughout the day.
6. Grand Cayman Blue Iguana
As their name suggests, Grand Cayman blue iguanas are blue lizards endemic to the Cayman Islands. At one point, these lizards were dangerously close to extinction. Through conservation efforts and programs, their wild populations are doing better than they were 10 years ago. Gran cayman blue iguanas can be kept as pets and make lifelong companions. However, these lizards need tons of warm and humid space and are easiest to keep if you already live in a humid environment.
7. Electric Blue Day Gecko
The males of this species are the ones responsible for the bright blue color you’ll see in them. Electric blue day geckos are seriously endangered. While they can be kept as pets, it’s estimated that their dwindling population is caused by illegal pet trade activities. So, we don’t recommend searching out one of these lizards as your next blue pet.
8. Blue-Tongued Skink
Okay, so blue-tongued skinks aren’t technically blue! They made our list because of their bright blue tongues. Even though their bodies are great and brown, their tongues are a surprisingly bright shade of blue. These lizards also make great pets and shouldn’t be looked over just because they’re not as vibrant as the lizards mentioned above.
In addition to the plethora of blue lizards in the reptile world, there are plenty of blue snakes. While some of these snakes can be kept as pets, others are only found in the wild!
9. Blue Coral Snake
Blue coral snakes, like other coral snakes, are venomous. Actually, these snakes have one of the most unique venoms that can cause almost instant paralysis to victims. Needless to say, these Asian snakes aren’t kept as pets. And even though the coral snake rhyme doesn’t apply to these blue snakes, you’ll still want to keep your distance.
10. Blue Racer
Blue racers are a species of greyish-blue snake that can be found in the U.S. These snakes are not venomous or poisonous but also aren’t commonly kept as pets. They’re distinguishable by two special scales by each eye and by their strikingly white bellies.
11. Blue-Lipped Sea Krait
A blue-lipped sea krait is a snake you definitely don’t want to see in the wild. These snakes are blue with black bands running along their bodies. They spend equal amounts of time on land and in water. Blue-lipped sea kraits are incredibly venomous and are great swimmers. These snakes definitely aren’t kept as pets.
12. White-lipped Pit Viper
White-lipped pit vipers are bright green or blue snakes that are endemic to Asia. These vipers are venomous and not commonly kept as pets. In the wild, you’ll find them hanging from tree branches and will rarely see them on the ground.
13. Green Tree Python (Blue morph)
Green tree pythons are usually found in the wild as bright green snakes. However, when bred in captivity, a blue morph can be targeted. These snakes are one of the most common types of blue pet snakes you’ll see. But, be warned, they’re by no means a snake for a beginner.
14. Common Tree Snake
Common tree snakes can be found in Australia as either green or turquoise-colored snakes. These snakes are nonvenomous and extremely beautiful. When threatened, these snakes can puff up their scales to refract even more light, making them appear highlighted.
Sadly, there aren’t any turtles that are completely blue in color. While some turtles may have small blue accents on them, most turtles are brown or green in color.
There are a few amphibians that are too brilliantly blue-colored to ignore. For the most part, blue amphibians are a warning sign in nature. Their color helps keep away predators, whether they’re poisonous or not.
15. Blue-Spotted Salamander
The blue-spotted salamander is a reptile endemic to the U.S. These salamanders are dark blue with light blue or white spots on their backs. They can be kept as pets, but like most amphibians, really shouldn’t be handled much at all.
16. Blue Poison Dart Frog
Although their name might put you off, poison dart frogs aren’t necessarily poisonous in captivity. Poison dart frogs in the wild cannot be picked up or touched. But, in captivity, these frogs aren’t eating the insect that causes them to become poisonous. Either way, these pet frogs still aren’t great to handle.
There are so many beautiful blue reptiles out there in the world. Many of the blue lizards that exist can be kept as pets. Sadly, because of their beautiful hues, some of these lizard species have been hunted to near extinction. If you decide you want to keep a blue reptile as a pet, try to be conscious of the conservation staus of the reptile that you choose!