Are Lizards Diurnal Or Nocturnal?

Lizards can be found practically anywhere, inside and outside of your home. You can see them in your backyard, and even occasionally find them in a kitchen cupboard as well. But fear not, these are harmless little guys.

These little fellas simply enjoy spending time in darker locations, thus our furniture, cabinets, and other cramped nooks provide lots of hiding places for them. 

Like primates, most lizards are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and silent or resting at night. Because few lizards have the ability to regulate their own body temperature, they must rely on sunshine or a heat source to survive.

As a result, it makes sense for them to be busy during the day and calm at night. Lizards don’t require much food to thrive, and the majority will seek out a place to hide and stay warm during the night.

However, there are a few exceptions, most notably geckos. Although not all geckos are nocturnal, many of these lizards are, which means they prefer to be active at night and quiet during the day.

Nocturnal behavior is crucial to note if you want to keep geckos as pets or if you live in or visit warmer locations where house lizard species, such as geckos, are common. In either case, whether lizards are awake at night may be a worry.

Do Lizards Prefer Light Or Darkness?

Lizards are not drawn to either light or darkness. There simply are two kinds of lizards: diurnal lizards and nocturnal lizards. The biology of nocturnal lizards makes them far more effective at night, while the biology of diurnal lizards makes them more effective during the day. So these lizards are obligated to follow their biology; otherwise, they will be unable to hunt or operate correctly.

Both diurnal and nocturnal lizards can coexist in the same habitat. Diurnal lizards can sometimes be found at night since they move a little, but they are not fully functioning at night and do not hunt. The same is true for nocturnal lizards. They can even be seen during the day, although they are not operational.

Crepuscular And Nocturnal Geckos

Several kinds of popular pet geckos prefer to be more active at night than during the day. Leopard geckos, for example, one of the most popular house lizard species, spend most of their days curled up under rocks to avoid predators in the wild, or under twigs and leaves in confined enclosures. As a result, they are frequently thought to be nocturnal.

Leopard geckos, on the other hand, become active around night or shortly after sunset in their natural environment of northern India to forage for food, such as invertebrates. The majority of geckos are insectivorous, but they will consume fruit as well. Because leopard geckos are typically active from dusk to dawn rather than just at night, some consider them to be crepuscular rather than truly nocturnal species.

However, being quiet during the day makes sense, given that the medium-sized leopard gecko is considered food for birds of prey and foxes. Pet leopard geckos should be fed early in the morning or late in the evening because they are most active at dusk or twilight.

Other Types Of Nocturnal Geckos

Tokay geckos, which are popular as pets, are another kind of nocturnal geckos. These geckos can grow to be up to 12 inches long, not including their tail. In the wild, the tokay gecko can regulate its body temperature by traveling across different environments, although it spends the day hiding under leaves and in tree bark.

It should be noted that this is a noisy gecko species, most typically at night, generating a bark or “tokay” sound, as the name suggests.

Crested geckos, which are native to Australia, are likewise nocturnal and arboreal, preferring to live in trees and high branches. Interestingly, crested geckos were assumed to be extinct until 1994, when findings revealed otherwise. Crested geckos have grown in popularity as pets since then.

Where Do Lizards Sleep And Where Do They Go At Night?

Most lizards are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night. Sleeping is an activity that can expose them to prospective predators, therefore they must exercise caution while deciding where to rest. They will seek darker areas in the house, just as they would during the day to hide from you or another potential threat.

On the other side, you may occasionally spot lizards moving around your house throughout the night. If you see them on your walls, you most certainly have geckos. They hide during the day and are active at night.

Geckos prey on insects, making them quite valuable in keeping your home insect-free. If you see some of them, don’t be alarmed; they’re not harmful and are probably more terrified of you than you are of them.

How Much Sleep Do Lizards Get?

Previously, it was thought that certain features and sleeping habits, such as fast eye movements, were only found in humans, birds, and mammals. However, a recent study found that bearded dragons, which are popular pets, go through comparable sleep periods.

This study discovered that reptiles and humans have similar sleeping patterns. Whereas we typically have four or five slow-wave sleep cycles lasting roughly 90 minutes each, lizards have a faster and more regular rhythm, resulting in hundreds of shorter sleeping episodes.

This fascinating study demonstrates that mammals, birds, and reptiles share some characteristics, implying that they shared a common ancestor roughly 320 million years ago.

How Do Lizards Stay Warm During The Night?

Lizards are ectotherms, which means their body temperature changes in response to their surroundings. Mammals, birds, and humans, on the other hand, are endotherms. Our internal activities keep our bodies at a higher temperature regardless of the weather outside.

There are over 6,000 different varieties of lizards. Some larger species, such as the Komodo dragon, have larger bodies that can hold more heat. This enables them to maintain a somewhat constant body temperature, nearly like mammals. Smaller lizards have a considerably more difficult time keeping their body temperature stable in this manner.

When they are in the shade, for example, their metabolism slows to near-hibernation levels. They return to their hyperactive state after returning to a position in the sunlight. Lizards do not require a lot of food to survive when it is chilly, which is usually at night. As a result, they just seek out a secluded location where they can stay warm.

They can be found in tree trunks, holes in the soil, and even under leaves. Yes, they are looking forward to better weather so that they can continue with their everyday routines just like the rest of us.

What Happens To Lizards During The Winter?

You’ve probably observed that when it’s cold outside, there aren’t any lizards slithering about your property. The winter season lasts a little longer, so they have to find even better locations to hide and stay warm.

Colder weather can cause major problems for many reptiles, such as reduced metabolism, lowered heart rate, or a general fall in body temperature.

When an animal hibernates, they fall into a deeper sleep. Lizards bury themselves in holes or similar dark and secluded areas during brumation, yet they still walk out to fulfill their bodies’ essential needs.

Will Lizards Crawl Under Your Mattress?

It may happen. The first time you’ll see this is if you’re dealing with an infestation. The second issue is when lizards don’t have enough space in your home and creep into your bed by accident.

We say unintentionally because they, like many other wild creatures, they avoid approaching humans. They perceive us as a potential threat and will flee as soon as they detect movement. In addition, smaller lizards can be too interested, and they may climb on your bed without knowing what they are doing or looking for.

Furthermore, their instincts keep them away from our beds and other active areas. Nonetheless, a good-quality mosquito net is one of the reasonable solutions that can help you enjoy a calm night without any unwanted visitors.

Other Species Of Nocturnal Lizards

The prehensile-tailed skink, commonly known as the monkey skink, is unique not just because it uses its tail to cling to trees, but also because it is a nocturnal herbivore. They wander across the tree canopy of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific at night, munching leaves.

Desert night lizards may be nocturnal, at least when the weather is hot. Desert night lizards are only seen at night in the American Southwest during the warmer seasons, but during the cooler months, they become diurnal and spend their days hunting insects.

Similarly, the misunderstood carnivorous Gila monster is nocturnal amid the desert’s intense heat but can become diurnal or even crepuscular in other temperatures. Gila monsters are excellent climbers and can scavenge for eggs in high nests. It’s possible to come upon them at any time of day. Lizards are sometimes referred to as lizard breeds, however, there aren’t any; rather, they are divided by lizard species.

Dangerous Lizards

Most lizards avoid humans; nevertheless, certain lizards will attack humans if they feel threatened. If you tread on a lizard by accident, the lizard can use its claw to scratch and flee the area. Of course, this is not deliberate, but it can be dangerous. The scratches might range from mild to severe. 

How Do You Spot Nocturnal Lizards In Your Home?

Most geckos are nocturnal, therefore if you have geckos in your residence, chances are they are nocturnal as well. If you hear anything fall or feel something move as you enter a specific room, those are likely lizards.

Final Thoughts

While finding lizards in some areas of your home can be a little unsettling, most little lizards are actually useful. They are essentially there to assist us in dealing with flies and other tiny insects in our home.

But of you want to avoid lizards all together in our home, you must keep your spaces clean and air out rooms to get rid of all insects. Keeping insects at bay will encourage the lizards to seek out other prey in your backyard and garden instead.