“I Don’t Want Any Of This.”

Lizards know what they want and what they don’t.

Check out Murph showing me he is not in the mood for food below!

Sometimes when lizards are hungry, they don’t say anything, 😁 we just give them their daily meal(s). Other times lizard parents can sense when their lizards are hungry, or lizards may tell their humans they’re hungry by licking their lips.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

However, sometimes we are incorrect in thinking our lizards are hungry. Sometimes that lip-licking is just that, maybe they’re getting a quick smell of the atmosphere, or possibly having a momentary drooling issue.

Sometimes meal time is tricky business.

Lizards can be finicky. Murph is the second Beardie in my life that requires hand-feeding. He didn’t use to be this way.

It began when I left the country for 2 weeks, he became so depressed that he stopped eating, pooing, and became lethargic, worrying his caretakers. Upon my return, he still wouldn’t eat, so I began making smoothies, and feeding him with a syringe (not too runny, not too thick)!!

Sometimes getting the texture just right is a matter of trial and error and can make quite a mess.

One day, finally, he was interested in solid food again, but from that point forward, he needs it given to him.

One may say, “If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat.” Nope, tried that. After 2 days of leaving a fresh medley of food for Murph’s sister, she still wouldn’t touch it. I knew she was hungry & I couldn’t take it anymore. I resumed hand-feeding.

Another food issue is that many lizards brumate during winter. This can be a scary time for the parents. Worrying about decent hydration & lack of nutrition or leftover food rotting in their bellies due to a slowed metabolism sucks, to put it simply.

Often when lizards do not want the food offered, they will do the following:

  • Close the eye nearest the food
  • Not open their mouths and look at you as if you should know better
  • Literally shake their heads “No”

Here is Murph saying “No!”:

*A bit about brumation: To learn more, read HERE. Know not to take any one source of information as the absolute truth in every circumstance. Therein you will read of 60° F being fine for a brumating reptile (a Beardie, to be precise). I think that’s a bit too chilly, but maybe it’s not.

Once a week or so, one can soak their brumating reptile in shallow, warm water for maybe 15 minutes to aid with hydration. In the link above, you’ll read to supply a dish of fresh water inside the enclosure incase the lizard wakes. This may work, and certainly isn’t a bad idea, but some lizards don’t focus on still water. Having it dripped on their lips may inspire them to lick and drink.

Some lizards known to brumate may not do it every year, or at all. Murph, for example, just has “blah” days, and his sister brumated only twice. Overall though, one may pick up useful tips from different sources, the above link does contain some useful information. Things as these can only be known by research. For questions or tips regarding lizard care, we’ll try to help: Contact Us

•View our selection of vivariums and tanks

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renée ❤️



  1. I agree. I think it’s often presumed that cold-blooded (rather, ectothermic) beings are overall dumb, acting on instinct every minute. But, they think & grow bonds.
    Cognitive tests of problem solving, counting, recognition, and solution recollection have been done. The results prove intelligence.


  2. The video was wonderful. Got to see Murph for a longer time and he definitely did not want any of the lovely food you offered. He’s so beautiful. He definitely knows what he wants. Our iguana, Van Gogh, used to sit on the table and eat dinner with us. 🙂 I miss him…but I get to see Murph and that helps. ❤


  3. Thank you so much, Gigi. Awww, that with Van Gogh paints an adorable mental picture. That table must be of spacious proportions! : ) I wish you were still together. Our lizards really burrow deeply into our hearts and lives. Losing them can be excruciating. I don’t want to think about life without Murph. I told him he may be small, but he possesses a huge spot in my heart.
    I am so glad Murph helps you feel better from your loss, thank you for telling us.


  4. Yes, very much so, and the personalities of your scaly ones shine through in the photos you take (to me anyway). They are sweethearts, and Chuckie looks so buff, he’s a ham. : )


  5. Thank you, Rebecca. I often wish I could place Murph’s meals on a dish, and he eat like most other lizard children, but it’s alright, he’s worth it. He absolutely knows I love him. His mental trauma from my absence, tells me has some feelings for me as well. : ) Besides, if he ate like normal, we couldn’t witness him saying no to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is amazing!! Lizards are so smart. I enjoyed hearing about the ways that they say no. The video made me smile and laugh, he’s just so precious and he for sure said “no!” You are such an amazing mama, I hope that he is doing better.


  7. Thank you so, so very much, for for all this and sharing that you laughed. He feels fine, shows his personality, and it seems his tremors have lessened. Don’t know what to think of that, nor did the docs. Wish he’d eat a bit more & not be such a picky pooer, but it’s not so bad. 💚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s