OK here's the rundown, you have probably stumbled across this page from a search engine because someone in your household has mentioned they want a pet reptile, most likely a child, it's probably going to be your first pet reptile, you may have never even contemplated owning a pet reptile until this moment in time, but here we are, staring into the abyss of search engines wondering where to start.
So here we go, what should you be looking at and why, but before we get into the list of ones to look at let's start with the list of ones to avoid at first so you can shoot those ideas straight out of the water and negotiate your way down to something more practical.Green iguana - No! They get huge (6ft+) aggressive, will bite, claw, scratch, and then when you're almost done, tail whip you into submission, not for the new keeper. Monitor lizards, No, they get too big for your average first reptile keeper (unless it's a dwarf species but that's a subject for another day), Boa constrictor, Burmese Python, reticulated python.. No again they all get too big for your average first ever pet reptile..
Here's what you need to be researching..
Bearded Dragon - Day active, insect and veg eating, smallish size of around 15”, super friendly lizards. They are the best pet reptile on the planet bar none. Cons, Initial set up expense can be relatively high, ongoing food costs again will be higher than some of the other options but generally the reward of owning one outweighs these downsides.
Leopard Gecko - Super easy to care for, low set up and food costs compared to the Bearded Dragon, these small (around 8 inches) ground dwelling geckos make great little pets. Downsides for leopard geckos are that they are nocturnal meaning you won't get to see much of them until late evening and they are most active in the middle of the night, which is ok i guess if you are a night owl but not so great for school kids. They are insect eaters, require a desert style set up and have a few special care requirements. They do become very tame with time, which is something you will have plenty of as the life expectancy record is around 40 years.. Yes that's not a typo.
Crested Gecko - Assumed extinct until the nineties, rediscovered and introduced into the reptile keeping hobby now bred in the hundreds of thousands. Crested geckos are an arboreal species of gecko that have sticky feet so they can climb glass, well the feet aren't actually sticky they are covered in loads of micro hairs that work like velcro but anyway.. Small, nectar eating with a small amount of insects in the diet, modest care requirements make these another species to research, downsides.. Not as easy to “tame” but will tolerate handling, can move quickly when suitably motivated.
There are a load more options out there but hopefully these three will start you off on your research journey and who knows where you'll end up.