6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
Common Name: Uromastyx
Scientific Name: Uromastyx (various species)
Origin: Northern Africa and the Middle East
Size: 10"- 18" (depending on species)
Lifespan: 15+ years
You will find many ways on the internet, on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.
You can start babies in enclosures as small as 10 gallons, but they will outgrow it within a couple months. An enclosure that is at least 30" x 12" inches (like Zilla critter cage 20 Long) would be a good starter, and should comfortably house your baby until it is 6 months of age or longer for small species.
Adults need a tank at least a minimum of 36" x 18" (Exo Terra Large, or Zilla 40 gal). If you have an Egyptian uro, which can potentially reach 30" you want an enclosure 6 feet or longer. All uros are terrestrial, so floor space is more important than height.
For bedding you can use a thin layer of clean natural sand. Exo Terra has a great sand, with 4 natural colors. Millet also works good, again just a thin layer. Spot clean the bedding whenever they defecate.
LIGHTING AND HEAT
Uromastyx originate from Northern Africa and the Middle East. As such, they like it hot. Basking temps can be as high as 120-130 degrees on the hot side as long as the rest of the enclosure is cooler. Ambient temperature can be around 80-90 degrees. Nighttime temperatures should stay above 75 degrees. We recommend a Zoo Med heat mat or Exo Terra heat pad that stays on 24/7 to give them a little bit of supplemental heat during the night. Both of these are placed on the outside underneath the enclosure. You want a heat pad that only covers half the tank (or a little less).
Uromastyx need UVB lighting to help them absorb calcium and to synthesize vitamin D3. Since they are not out in natural sunlight in our homes, we must provide UVB light in the form of a special fluorescent bulb designed to produce UVB rays.
The best bulbs are the mercury vapors such as Exo Terra's Solar Glo bulbs, ZooMed's Powersun, or Solar bright bulbs. These provide heat and UVB all in one bulb. You can also use separate basking (heat) bulb and UVB bulbs. If you use these you will want the Zoo Med 10.0 or Exo Terra 150 desert variety.
Depending on where you live, in colder climate areas, your lizards may need extra heat in the winter to keep them from brumating. You can add an extra heat lamp, or depending on the temperature in your home, you may be able to get away with something as simple as putting a folded towel over half of the enclosure (away from your heat fixtures).
Keep a non porous water bowl in with your Uromastyx and make sure it always have clean water. Exo Terras water bowls or Flukers water bowls are good choices. You might have to change the water out everyday if your lizard likes to defecate in it. Scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up. Some Uromastyx also enjoy being misted with water, but don't make the enclosure too moist--they come from a dry climate.
They are vegetarians. You can feed them green foods once a day and keep a small bowl of seeds, and beans in the enclosure for them to nibble on when they want also. They get most of their water from the food they eat, so make sure they have fresh food everyday.
Sweet potato (grated)
Yam or Squash (grated)
FRUITS - CAN OFFER FEW TIMES A WEEK (ONLY FOR ADULTS)
SEEDS & BEANS
black eyed peas (uncooked)
We recommend dusting their food with Repashy Super Veggie (calcium and multivitamin) every day and mix in a little extra calcium with D3..
Most Uromastyx are tameable and tolerate handling well. They can even seek out attention from the people who care for them. It is not unusual for a happy Uromastyx to want to come out for some attention and petting.