Uromastyx lizard

Uromastyx is a genus of lizard found in parts of Africa and the Middle East. There are several species regularly offered in pet stores, and care requirements for common species are very similar. Uromastyx lizards come from very hot places and need high temperatures to do well as pets. In the wild these lizards live in burrows and will do best if offered underground retreats. This lizard is best suited for intermediate to experienced keepers and is not recommended for beginners.

  • Common Name: Uromastyx Lizard
  • Scientific Name: Uromastyx spp.
  • Distribution: Throughout Northern Africa & the Middle East
  • Size: Species dependent: 8-24″
  • Life Span: Species dependent:15-35+ yrs
    • Juvenile Uromastyx need a minimum 20 gallon terrarium. Juveniles can be housed together in a 30 gallon terrarium.
    • Adult Uromastyx need a minimum 40+ gallon terrarium.
    • Provide plenty of hiding and basking places.
  • Rocks, thick branches or Mopani Wood make excellent choices for decorating your lizard’s habitat.

    • Daytime Terrarium Temperature: 85-90° F.
    • Basking Spot: 115-120 °F. • Nighttime Temperature: 75+°F.
    • A nighttime drop in temperature is natural and can be accomplished by turning off all overhead heating devices, and leaving a ReptiTherm® UTH on 24 hours per day.
  • Zoo Med’s Basking Spot Lamp, PowerSun®, Repti Halogen™ and Ceramic Heat Emitters, are good choices for heating Uromastyx enclosures.
  • Provide a large rock directly under the basking area to help retain heat.
    • UVB Lighting is essential for Uromastyx to process calcium in captivity.
    • Without UVB lighting and a proper diet, Uromastyx will develop serious health problems such as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
    • UVB Lighting should be left on for 10-12 hours per day and turned off at night.
  • Zoo Med’s ReptiSun® Linear and Compact Fluorescent Lamps are a great choice for providing Uromastyx with UVB. The PowerSun® is an excellent way to provide both UVB and Heat all in one lamp!

  • Uromastyx live in arid, desert landscapes in the wild and will do well on a variety of sand or rock type substrates in captivity.
  • Hatchling Uromastyx will do best on Cage Carpet such as Zoo Med’s Eco Carpet or Slate tile that you can purchase from a home improvement store.
  • Excavator® Burrowing Clay Substrate will allow you to create a naturalistic terrarium complete with burrows and tunnels for your animals. Uromastyx live in burrows and will require underground retreats to provide security.
  • If you use sand, we recommend that you add a top layer of flat slate tiles or rocks, especially in the basking area. Sand should be wetted and then dried to create a compacted top layer.
  • Uromastyx are omnivorous reptiles that require a well balanced diet of both insects and plants. Although they will eat many different types of food, plant matter should make up the bulk of their diet.
  • 80% of their diet should consist of the following options in a shallow food dish: collared, mustard and turnip greens, kale, endive, escarole, cilantro, dandelion, bok choy, romaine and other dark green produce, along with a small amount of squash and green beans. It is also recommended to add millet seed, or a mix of parakeet seed to the salad. Adults should be fed 5-7 times per week and babies should be offered food daily. Remove any excess or uneaten produce.
  • Zoo Med’s Flower Topper or Grassland Tortoise diet can be offered as well. Insects should be offered 2-3 times per week.
  • Always remove uneaten insects after each feeding.
  • For added hydration, add Zoo Med’s Electrolyte soak to shallow water and soak your friend once a week, per the instructions on the bottle.