Argentine Tegu

The Argentine Tegu (Tupinambis merianae) is native to savannas, semi-deserts and tropical rain forests east of central South America. Tupinambis merianae is a lizard (reptile) member of the Teiidae family. These lizards are commonly known as "Black and White Tegus" because of their color.

Pet Care

As pets, black and white Argentine Tegus are brilliant. Overall they’re quite docile in their older age and they often become attached to their owners, provided their owners spend time handling, feeding and caring for them. They can live over 20 years in the wild and even longer in captivity. Below are some types of information you’ll need to care for your tegu.

Feeding Your Tegu

Argentine tegus are primarily meat eaters but are notorious for feeding on fruits and vegetables if needed. Their diets typically consists of: Crickets, worms, grasshoppers, ground turkey, fish, eggs (boiled), fruits and vegetables. Remember that each of these items listed should be served in bite size proportions to your black and white tegu. While it may be possible for a tegu to rip apart a whole fish, it would be much easier if you cut fish meat into small pieces before feeding! Remember; Do not overfeed them!

Note: Many tegu owners suggest mixing up your pet’s diet. Feed them a variety of the foods listed above and mix it up often.


  • Classification

  • Suborder: Lacertilia
  • Family: Teiidae
  • Genus: Tupinambis
  • Species: T. merianae
  • Binomial Name: Tupinambis merianae
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)