Why Do Lizards Lick Their Eyes? Important Facts

The bodies of lizards are a miracle of evolution. Over 4,675 species, all descended from reptiles that inhabited the earth more than 200 million years ago, make up these odd-looking and occasionally quite adorable creatures. They can be as long as 10 feet or as short as 0.5 inches, with a variety of colours, characteristics, and powers.

The vast majority of lizard species lack any type of moveable eyelid. They can’t blink or close their eyes to protect themselves. They have long, flexible tongues, so they regularly lick their eyes. This prevents dust, sand, and other particles from entering their eyes and keeps their eyes moist. 

If they do not lick, they cannot see since the eye’s skin would become as dry and dusty as a window. This article is devoted to answering the topic of why lizards lick their eyeballs and other fascinating facts about them. 

Can Geckos Lick Their Eyes?

It is strange to believe that watery eyes indicate dry eyes, but they do! Have you ever witnessed a lizard licking its eyes? Since these creatures lack eyelids, they must lick their eyes to maintain a wet surface.

Yes, many reptiles, including the majority of lizards, can clean their eyes by licking them. A lizard’s lengthy tongue is ideal for reaching around the eye and removing any dirt, dust, or other material that may have accumulated there.

Do All Lizards Lick Their Eyes?

Some reptiles do not need to lick their eyes because they have eyelids, although the majority still do it occasionally. Lizards’ lengthy tongues serve a variety of functions. The cleaning of their eyes is one of these reasons. Several times a day, several lizard species lick their eyes to remove debris and keep them healthy.

How Do Lizards Lick Their Eyes?

Lizards have a third eyelid that aids in keeping their eyes clean and debris-free. The term for this eyelid is “nictitating membrane.” When a lizard licks its eye, the nictitating membrane can be seen moving from the corner of its eye. 

Most lizards swipe their long tongues to wipe their eyes. The tongue is flicked in and out toward the nictitating membrane to remove any debris. This assists them with better visibility.

Why Are Lizards’ Eyes So Large?

The majority of lizard species are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and hunting and socializing at night. They have evolved to possess exceptional eyesight, especially at night. This is facilitated in part by their extremely large eyes and pupils, which may constrict and dilate significantly to regulate the amount of light they absorb.

Do Lizards Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

The majority of lizards will simply constrict their pupils when they sense the urge to sleep. This allows their eyes to absorb the least amount of light possible. This is how they “close” their eyes without using their eyelids.

Do Lizards Produce Sounds To Communicate?

Lizards communicate with one another using clicks, chirps, barks, and other sounds.

Depending on the species and circumstances, the sounds may serve to deter competitors from an area, avoid direct combat, or attract mates.

Can Lizards Detach Their Tails?

Most lizards can detach their tails and regrow them. Lizards lose their tails in response to stress, sickness, or if the tail itself is grasped. Lizards drop their tails along a “dotted line.” 

It is a design that permits a gecko to shed its tail rapidly and with minimal injury to the rest of its body. A lizard can recover its lost tail, albeit the replacement tail will likely be shorter, blunter, and coloured differently.

Do Lizards Have Any Particular Eye Condition?

As a result of vitamin A deficiency, insectivorous lizards frequently experience irregular infections around their eyes, which pose a threat to their health. To prevent this, you should offer your pet a variety of prey items that have been gut-loaded with an abundance of vitamin A-rich green, red, yellow, and orange vegetables.

What To Do If Your Lizard’s Eye Becomes Infected?

The eye of your lizard should be checked by a vet if it becomes infected or appears to be so. Antibiotics are a common method of treatment for infected eyes, but it is crucial that the correct infection be diagnosed and the appropriate medication is provided.

What Does It Mean If Your Lizard Licks You?

Lizards additionally use their tongues for three other reasons: smelling out of curiosity, consuming water, and reassuring themselves. Read further to find out more!


If you don’t wear a perfume your lizard is used to, it may lick you to get a whiff of whatever you’re wearing. Curious lizards may lick their owner when they detect an unfamiliar scent, such as soap, hand sanitiser, or the scent left behind by an object that has previously been handled. Possibly, these are what got its attention. 


The lizard may lick the water or sweat off the owner’s skin to hydrate itself. They slake their thirst in a manner comparable to licking moist objects in the tank. Dehydration symptoms consist of wrinkled skin. Moreover, due to diminished skin elasticity, when the skin is gently pinched, it tents.


It’s vital to note that geckos often lick their owners as a means of feeling secure. Perhaps this is the closest you’ll ever get to feeling loved. If you are unaware of this, it associates you with a safe area, with the knowledge that it is also harmless to you.


Lizards often lick at their eyes. Eye licking is a natural activity for lizards, and while the specifics vary depending on the species and its surroundings, you shouldn’t worry too much if you see it. 

It is just another way that these species keep their vision clear and keep themselves clean and healthy, although excessive or constant licking could suggest a problem. Therefore, the next time you see a lizard licking its eyes, don’t be repulsed – it’s a necessary behavior.

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