Location: North Africa, Middle East, south-central Asia and Indian subcontinent
Size: 10-18 inches
Lifespan: min (15) max (35) avrg (20-25)
Adult uromastyx require an enclosure that is a minimum of 60 gallons, but 75 gallons or larger is preferred for a permanent home.
Uromastyx are generally solitary animals, housing more than one uro together, no matter the gender can result in stress and the common issues related to most reptile cohabitation.
Substrate & Decor
Uros are very curious and lick their surroundings to smell and feel. This makes a non-loose substrate ideal. Some suitable substrates include reptile carpet, reptile grass, sand mat, large stones, papertowel, newspaper, shelf liner, blankets and my personal favourite, ceramic tiles.
Their enclosures can be decorated using logs, rocks, fake plants, branches and especially a tunnel-like system to replicate their natural habitat. Be creative!
The basking area for a uromastyx should be around 120-140f while also providing a cooler basking area of 110-115f to give them options. The colder end of the enclosure should be around 80-85F. Nighttime temperatures should be about 70F. A red or blue bulb is not recommended for nighttime. If the enclosure's temperature drops below 65F a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) can be used to bring it back up to the desired temperature.
Providing your Uro with UVB is beneficial. UVB was often thought to be unnecessary, but a UVB bulb allows for proper calcium absorption and therefore stronger bones. A good UVB for uros is a 10.0 fluorescent tube UVB that covers over half of the tank. Coils or compact bulbs are not recommended for uros. You can also use a MVB* (Mercury vapour bulb) which is heat, UVA and UVB in one.
*MVB are not large enough for the sole UVB and heat source*
Water & Humidity
Uromastyx live in an extremely dry environment so humidity should be very low, no water dish should be put in the tank. No baths, unless necessary (always use a hair dryer to dry them immediately after a bath to prevent tail rot). Their main water source is in their food, so leafy greens and fruits are extremely important.
Uromastyx should be fed a completely vegetarian diet with 1 day of fasting a week for normal sized to overweight uros. Their diet should consist of primarily leafy greens (dandelions, endive, escarole and occasionally bok choy and collards), fruit as a treat (blueberries and strawberries), seeds (hemp, flax, chia, millet) and even flowers (hibiscus). Plus prickly pear pieces are super yummy and nutritious.
In captivity, Uromastyx often don't get enough nutrients. To ensure good health Uros should be given a multivitamin twice a week (repashy superveggie, which is a vegetable supplement with calcium) and our immunity booster that has hibiscus, bee pollen, probiotics and more, which is optional but very beneficial.
*** Fasting should be monitored ***