6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53516
SUDAN PLATED LIZARD Caresheet
Common Name: Sudan Plated Lizard
Name: Gerrhosaurus major
Origin: Sub-Saharan African countries in semi-arid savannah regions.
Size: 16-27" head to tail
Lifespan: 20+ 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.
The Sudan plated lizard lives a diurnal life, active during the day and sleeping at night. Plate-like scales cover the animal's body forming a protective armor.
In the wild, this lizard finds safety in amoungst rocks and other areas where they can bask, hide and burrow. Because they like to dig, they require a large enclosure with plenty of substrate.
One full-grown adult can be housed in a minimum of a 4' x 2' x 2' enclosure. But if you have the space, go bigger. Your lizard will thank you.
As mentioned, they like to dig so provide a deep loose substrate such as Zillas Jungle Mix.
They will feel more secure if they're allowed to burrow.
Also have a hiding place for them to feel safe when sleeping. This can be as simple as a some rocks or a piece of driftwood that allows them to get under. Or you can use a reptile hide like Zillas bark bend.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
These lizards come from a semi-arid environment and as such are quite hardy creatures that like the heat. However, like all reptiles, they are dependent on thermoregulation to control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide a hot side and a cool side to your enclosure. All the heat elements should be on one side and the other will be the cool side. This way your pet can move back and forth between the different temperatures depending on its needs.
A basking area of up to 125F degrees should be provided. The rest of the enclosure can be in the 85-88 range. At night, temps can drop to as low as 75 degrees. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer. The easiest way to increase the heat in your enclosure is with a Reptile basking bulb and/or an Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pad.
In addition to heat, Sudan plated lizards 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 5.0 or Exo Terra UVB 100 variety.
Although the southern Sudan is hot and dry, it does get rain too. So humidity is important to your animal. Misting the enclosure once a day will usually provide enough moisture for your animal, but a nice humidity gauge can help you in this area. Hand misters are usually sufficient but if you don't care to remember to mist, an automatic mister like the Exo Terra monsoon is a nice option. Exo terras reptile fountain provides bubbling water and will also help raise humidity levels. Exo Terra bowls or Flukers rock dish are nice naturalistic non-porous water bowls.
Always provide a nice sized water dish with fresh water. You might have to change the water everyday if your lizard defecates or kicks bedding into it. Scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up.
Sudan plated lizards are omnivores although they mostly eat insects.
Don't always feed them the same things. Adults can be fed 2-3 times a week. Young ones are better fed every other day. When you feed, you can give as much as they want in one sitting. Place the food on a shallow dish, not directly on the substrate. Remove any uneaten food.
Make sure to supplement your lizard's food at least every other feeding with calcium and vitamins such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3.
earthworms, occasional mice (live or frozen/thawed)
TEMPERAMENT Sudan plated lizards are shy and rarely show aggression. Yet, once they get used to you, they're quite easy to care for. With gentle and gradual handling, they can become quite tame.