Latin Name: Uromastyx geyri. Adult Size: 28cm to 35cm. Average Life Span: Longevity is unknown at this time, however, wild caught animals have lived for over 30 years in captivity. Enrique Gil-Nagel informed me that his Saharan Uromastyx, 'Helmer', lived with him in Spain for over 31 years. Native Distribution: South Algeria, eastern Mali, and north-central Niger. Physical Description: Adults range in colour from reddish orange to bright yellow. Temperament: A peaceful diurnal insectivore / herbivore. Status in the Wild: CITES II.
Native Habitat: Found in hot, dry areas, where they often dig and live in an underground burrow. Ambient Temperature: 22C at night to 30C during the day. Basking Temperature: Basking lamps that emit ultraviolet light and heat are required. A basking temperature of 45C should be provided during the day. Humidity Range: 20% to 30%. Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent. Terrarium Size: Adults are best kept singularly or in male / female pairs with at least 2,500sq.cm of floor space per animal. Terrarium Decor: Desert motif. Terrarium Substrate: Clay / sand mix, wild birdseed, or spaper for adults. spaper for babies and juveniles. Terrarium Containment: Saharan Uromastyx can easily climb branches but not smooth surfaces. Terrarium tops are only necessary to contain food items.
Hygiene: Remove uneaten food items after 24 hours. Feeding: Saharan Uromastyx are primarily vegetarian lizards and should be fed leafy greens, legumes, seeds, and edible flowers. Greens and flowers of dandelion, clover, and hibiscus, pok choy, turnip greens, peas, carrots, corn, string beans, alfalfa pellets, dried beans (except kidney beans), dried fruits, and birdseeds are all staples. Do not feed cabbage or spinach; and feed broccoli, kale, and collard greens sparingly. A few crickets or other insects may be fed once or twice a month. See edible flowers, plants and seeds for herbivores. Handling: Saharan Uromastyx make excellent 'pets'. Once acclimated to their owners, they may be handled with ease. Terrarium Compatibility: Saharan Uromastyx may be kept with other desert lizards.
Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached between two and three years of age. Sexing: Adult males are slightly larger and are more colourful, especially on their belly, than females. See sexing Saharan Uromastyx photograph. Conditioning: Keep adults well fed with a variety of foods. Cycling: If the photoperiod and temperature are reduced in the fall, Uromastyx will brumate for several months. It is currently believed, however, that brumation is unnecessary for successful egg laying. Breeding occurs during the spring, several weeks after the end of brumation. Gestation takes from 4 to 6 weeks. Sex Ratio: Should be bred in M/F pairs. Egg Laying: Gravid females should be provided with a nest box consisting of moist sand and potting soil to a depth of six inches. The female will often dig for several days before egg laying. Clutch sizes range from 8 to 20 eggs. See Saharan Uromastyx egg and baby photograph.
Incubation Temperature: 33C to 34C. Incubation / Gestation Time: 60 to 70 days. Size at Birth: 4cm to 6cm total length. Hatchling Sex Ratio: Not temperature dependant. Feeding: Babies should be fed the same foods as the adults, chopped to a size no larger than the space between their eyes. Seeds and dried beans should be ground to a powder and mixed in with other vegetables. In addition, dried, ground feces from healthy adult Uromastyx should be sprinkled into the food given to baby Uros to innoculate their intestinal tract with beneficial bacteria, which are necessary for proper digestion. Housing: Housing young Saharan Uromastyx together seems to pose no problems as long as they are of similar size.