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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Mali Uromastyx Set Up Steps

Mali Uromastyx (Uromastyx spp.)

Experience Level: Intermediate

Mali Uromastyx in terrarium

Mali Uromastyx

Did you know? Mali Uromastyx are also known as “Spiny Tailed Lizards” for their thick, spiny tail. While these lizards are usually very docile, they use their tail as their primary form of defense.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Mali Uromastyx originate from the desert of northwest Africa and require a warm, dry
environment. They are territorial and are best housed individually.

(A) Use a 40-gallon (32-36" long) or larger terrarium for an adult Uromastyx.

(B) Screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

• Equip the habitat with two (C) thermometers (one on each side of habitat) and one (D) hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

• The basking spot should be the warmest point in the habitat during the day. Heat is provided by a (E) high-wattage heat bulb placed directly above the basking spot. During the evening hours, the basking light should be turned off.

• Use a ceramic heat emitter or night heat lamp as needed to maintain nighttime temperatures.

Target Range
Humidity 10-30%
Day - Cool Side 85-95o F (29-35o C)
Day - Basking Spot 110-115o F (43-46o C)
Night 65-75o F (18-24o C)

• Mali Uromastyxs are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Use a daytime (F) UVA/UVB (ultraviolet) bulb for approximately 12 hours per day.

• For night viewing, use a night-specific bulb to minimize visible light provided to your reptile.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

(G) Use a 3-6" (8-15 cm) layer of calcium sand or reptile carpet, which is best for smaller pets.

• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(H) Include decor to elevate your lizard close to the heat source for basking.
(I) Add a wood/rock hiding place in the cool area of the home.

• Ensure decor is large and stable enough for the size of your pet.

• Provide branches (artificial or live) for hiding and climbing.

Mali Uromastyx in terrarium

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give
him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your pet.

Things to Watch For
• Runny droppings for more than two days
• Eating or drinking less; weight loss
• Swollen joints
• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
• Shell problems; discolored shells
• More time spent hiding in their shell

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

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