North Carolina Wildlife Commission Puts Restrictions On Black and White TeguThese omnivorous lizards grow about 2.5 to 4 feet in length and can live up to 20 years. Photo by South Carolina Department Of Natural Resources

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North Carolina Wildlife Commission Puts Restrictions On Black and White Tegu

The Argentine black and white tegu is popular with expert reptile keepers. They are not for beginners.

Applications for permits for those who already possess the Argentine black and white tegu will be available when the rule becomes effective.

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The North Carolina Wildlife Commission has adopted a rule that restricts the import, transport, export, purchase, sell, transfer or release of the Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator meriane). These rules were presented to the commission during a virtual public hearing in January 2022.

The rule will become effective August 1, 2022. Applications for permits for those who already possess the Argentine black and white tegu will be available when the rule becomes effective. This will grandfather current owners of the reptile. The permit will enable them to to retain, transport, transfer, or export the animal(s) in their possession. Salvator rufescens (red tegu), and Tupinambis teguixin (Colombian black and white or gold tegu) are not restricted by the ruling.


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South Carolina banned the keeping of the Argentine black and white tegu in 2021 and Florida banned the commercial breeding of all tegu species in 2021 as well.

Black and White Tegu Information

The Argentine black and white tegu is popular with expert reptile keepers. They are not for beginners. These omnivorous lizards grow about 2.5 to 4 feet in length and can live up to 20 years. They are native to Central and South America and sort of look like monitor lizards. Although not overly aggressive, tegus do have sharp teeth and strong jaws and claws. They are omnivores and eat all kinds of eggs, pet food, small mammals, insects, other reptiles, amphibians, and birds.