- There are approximately 18 different species of uromastyx.
- Size – 10 to 15 inches in length (Egyptians, however, are the largest at 30 inches).
- Lifespan – with good care, your uro can live for 20+ years.
- Personality – as with many reptiles, the more that you handle your uro, the more tame he will become. Some can even reach a point of “puppy dog” comfort with their owner. Generally, I find that they are calm once they’ve been picked up and not very likely to bite (why would they need to when they have that tail?).
- Cage size – this depends on the type of uro that you have adopted. For hatchlings, a 20 gallon tank would be sufficient. Remember that with reptile babies, large spaces can stress them out. For a juvenile or small uro, a 40 gallon breeder tank may work well. For anything exceeding 10 inches, you really should invest in a 75 gallon tank at the bare minimum.
Your uromastyx is going to thrive on a basic vegetarium diet with only the occasional insect as a treat. I’ve heard of many problems associated with an high-insect diet so I would really recommend saving the insects for treats or using them when attempting to tame your uro. Also, I’d really stress the importance of using dubia roaches. The lack of chitin will cause fewer problems for your pet and they have the added benefit of being very nutritious. Again, however, the insect should be used sparingly.
The vegetable portion of your uro’s feeding habits will be the most important. I like to buy a variety of leafy greens, chop them up, add some other veggies, and mix with a good calcium powder. Great suggestions for staple food items include: endive, bok choy, dandelion greens, mustard greens, collard greens, watercress, escarole, peas, carrots, corn, cut green beans. You’ll want to keep things like kale, broccoli, and spinach to a minimum because of the high oxalate values (these oxalates will prevent your uro from getting all of it’s needed calcium which can later lead to metabolic bone disease).
Lastly, you’ll want to include a good portion of seeds with your provided veggies. I, personally, like to throw in some bird seed and lentils for my uro. If you’d rather not deal with the seeds, you could substitute Mazuri tortoise pellets instead.
Like most reptiles, a uromastyx is susceptible to metabolic bone disease if proper lighting isn’t provided. For this reason, you absolutely must allow access to both UVA and UVB light.
Basking temperatures should be allowed to get to 110° to 120° for optimal health while an 80° cool side is permissible. Remember, these are largely desert-dwelling little guys. They like it hot. And dry.
A nighttime drop in temperature to the high 60’s is okay.