Salvator (Argentine) Tegu Species
Argentine tegus tend to have solid-colored heads with calm dispositions that are easy to tame. They average between 3’-5’ long (91-152 cm), with females being smaller than males. Their diet is omnivorous.
Argentine tegus are easy to find CBB (captive born and bred), with the exception of S. duseni, which is not available to the pet trade.
Salvator duseni (Yellow Tegu)
The yellow tegu is found in parts of Brazil and throughout Paraguay. It is characterized by a dark head and limbs, darkest at the tip of the snout, with yellow and black coloration.
Salvator merianae (Black and White Tegu)
The black and white tegu is the most popular tegu in captivity. It is also known as the chacoan tegu, giant tegu, and blue tegu (which is actually a color morph). It has a wide range and is found throughout eastern Argentina, southern Brazil, as well as Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
Salvator rufescens (Red Tegu)
The red tegu is the heaviest of all the tegus, but also popular in captivity. It is found in Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and the Brazilian state of Parana. It is distinguished by its red and black coloration, although the red pigment develops with age and is not present in juveniles.
Tupinambis (Colombian) Tegu Species
Colombian tegus, at a glance, have more heavily patterned heads and grow smaller than Argentine tegus — 2’-3.5’ long (61-107 cm), with females being smaller than males. They are less popular as pets due to a more defensive disposition, but can be tamed. Their diet is carnivorous.
Most Colombian tegus on today’s market are WC (wild-caught) gold tegus.
Tupinambis longilineus (Rodonia tegu)
The Rodonia tegu is found throughout northwestern Brazil, and has a broad, dark lateral stripe on each side between the limbs.
Tupinambis palustris (Swamp tegu)
Little is known about the swamp tegu, but we do know that it has a fairly narrow range — found only in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
Tupinambis teguixin (Gold tegu)
The gold tegu is also known as the Colombian black and white tegu, due to a similarity in coloring as juveniles. They are frequently sold by vendors who do not know better or are trying to scam trusting buyers. The coloration of a gold tegu is more pale yellow and black than black and white, and they remain much smaller. Gold tegus can be found in Colombia and throughout the Amazon Basin, as well as Panama. They are thought to be semi-aquatic.
Tupinambis quadrilineatus (Four-striped tegu)
Little is also known about the four-striped tegu, except that it can be found around central Brazil.