Uromastyx

Diet:

Greens: Most uromastyx lizards are herbivores so they eat mainly vegetables. A few species may require more protein in their diet and can be offered gut-loaded crickets every few weeks. Juveniles require a higher percentage of protein in their diet than adults do. Incorporating softened iguana or tortoise pellets is beneficial to maintaining a healthy lizard. Dark leafy greens, such as collards, kale and dandelion greens are good sources of calcium. Squash, sweet potatoes and other mixed vegetables(see healthy veggies) can also be fed in small amounts for a balanced diet. Calcium supplements should be given 2-3 times a week and multivitamins (with Vitamin A) should be given once a week to every other week If your uromastyx eats 30-50% pelleted diet with the greens, you do not need to apply the extra vitamins to the food. Make sure to research the specific dietary requirements for your species.

Water: Offer a small, spill proof drinking bowl. Change water daily.

Soaks: Soaking a couple times a week for 10 minutes in warm, shallow water may be needed in addition to a water dish for hydration. This will depend on the age and import status of your uromastyx. Check with your veterinarian.

HOUSING:

Cage: A 30-gallon fish tank with a secure, fine, mesh screen top is a good cage to start with for most young uromastyx. Depending on the species you will have to buy or have built an appropriate sized enclosure – preferably four times the length or more of the animal. Hide boxes that are low enough to touch the uromastyx are important for them to feel secure in their enclosures.

Lighting: A basking area with an incandescent bulb should be offered on one side of the cage. The temperature under that light, where the uromastyx will actually sit should reach 100-110 degrees F and in 70-80 degrees F at the cooler end. The temperature should drop to 60-70 degrees F at night. You also need to offer a 5.0 UVB fluorescent light over the basking area. This bulb needs to be 7-15 inches from the animal in order to work well. Make sure there is NO glass or plastic between this bulb and your uromastyx. Lights should be on 12 hours a day, and UVB fluorescent bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months (even if they still work). Right now there are several incandescent bulbs that provide heat and UVB such as, T-Rex Active UVB Heat bulbs and Zoomed’s halogen UVB bulb.

Substrate: Use newspaper, indoor/outdoor carpet or Care Fresh as substrate. Uros love to burrow so the Care Fresh is ideal.

Sunlight: Try to expose your uromastyx to natural sunlight as much as possible during the summer months. DO NOT leave your uro outside in a glass tank or an enclosed container because it will overheat. Try building an all screen enclosure and make sure part of it is always shaded. Dogs, cats, raccoons, etc. like to eat uromastyx so DO NOT leave your uromastyx unattended outside unless you are positive the cage is secure.

VETERINARY CARE: Uromastyx lizards are usually wild caught so a wellness check is important to make sure that the lizard is adjusting well to captivity and is free from parasites.