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Reptile Rapture,
6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53516
608-221-0094, www.reptilerapture.net


Common Name:
Scientific Name: Sauromalus ater (formerly Sauromalus obesus), Sauromalus australis, Sauromalus hispidus, Sauromalus klauberi, Sauromalus slevini, Sauromalus varius
Origin: SW USA & Northern Mexico
Size: 15”- 20” 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.

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. Adults do well in a tank at least 36" x 18" (Exo Terra Large, or Zilla 40 gal) You can always give them something bigger if you have the space. Spot clean the bedding whenever they defecate. In the wild they are “crevasse dwellers” They like places to climb and hide. Be sure to secure your decor so it doesn’t fall on your chuck, even when is squiggling through the tight spots.

Chuckwallas or “chucks” originate from the SW US and Northern Mexico, and as such, they like it hot. Basking temps can get as high 110 degrees on the hot side as long as the rest of the enclosure is cooler. Ambient temperature can be around 80 degrees. Nighttime temperatures should stay above 72 degrees for babies. Adult can get a little cooler at night. 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). Chucks 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 chucks 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 chuck and make sure it always has 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 chuckwallas also enjoy being misted with water, but don't make the enclosure too moist--they come from a dry climate.

FEEDING - They are vegetarians
For BABIES - under 1 YEAR.
Finely chopped greens 1 X A DAY
Edible flowers such as viola, dandelion, marigold, nasturtiums, hibiscus, etc. 

Mazuri Tortoise diet - moistened 1X a day
Chopped greens and can add flowers 1 X a day
A few adults like some bugs now and then.

Mazuri Tortoise diet
Edible flowers such as viola, dandelion, marigold, nasturtiums, hibiscus, etc. 
De-spined cactus
Mustard greens
Turnip greens
Beet tops
Carrot tops

Green Beans
Romaine lettuce (once in a while)

We suggest supplementing with Repashy Superveggie and mix in a little extra calcium with D3.

Chuckwallas may be initially skidish but most calm down nicely. They tolerate handling better than other lizards. Once they know you most will seek out attention from the people who care for them. They are very active and like to explore and run around during the day.