Beginner Reptiles: The Steppe Runner Lizard

I am going to talk today about a little reptile species that didn’t make it onto my top five beginner reptiles list, but was considered for it. The Steppe Runner Lizard is fairly new to the reptile industry, they only started popping up around 2012. These cute little guys always look like they have a smile on their face, sort of like Leopard Geckos. Let’s look a bit into their scientific background.

Scientific Information

Steppe Runner in Terrarium
Eremias Arguta is the scientific name for this species. They are one of thirty-five species recognized in the Eremias genus. Interestingly, these little guys come from the sandy, arid regions of the Ukraine, Southwestern Russia, and Romania. On average, the Steppe Runner reaches a length of only 6 inches. Despite this small size, they are known for being calm and very personable. They have been known to curl up in their owners hand and they like being hand fed.

Care Information


Steppe Runner Cage

All you need to house these guys is a 15 to 20 gallon terrarium. If you want multiple steppe runners, make sure there is ample space for each lizard – they will fight if there is not enough room. This species is diurnal, a hot lamp and UVB bulbs will need to be on every day to properly imitate their habitat. Never use an under tank heater with these guys. Unlike Leopard Geckos, they do not get their heat from below.


These cute little guys are insectivores and they need to be fed every day or every other day. It’s important to remember that since these guys are so small their food also needs to be small. Besides that stipulation, they can eat everything from mealworms to phoenix worms to crickets. Like all other insectivores, remember to dust their food with calcium and D3 every second or third feeding. Do you know the phrase “Variety is the spice of life”? Apply that phrase to your reptiles when it comes to their food. They tend to be healthier if you give them a wide variety of insects.


Low humidity is what you are aiming for with this species. As stated above, they are native to sandy, arid regions. Adequate ventilation is also a requirement. They do need a small water dish that is hard to tip over in their cage. Steppe Runners swim in their water dish and they will use it as a toilet from time to time. This is why it’s important to change out the water every day. Don’t want your lizard to get sick from its own poop.


Steppe Runner
So while this active, little species didn’t make it onto my top five, I do recommend them for beginners. I kept Steppe Runners off of my top five list mainly because they haven’t been in the pet industry for long.. If you didn’t care for any of my top five though, I do suggest checking the Steppe Runner out.
Have a question about Steppe Runners? Leave a comment below!

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