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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Steppe Runner Setup Steps

Steppe Runner (Eremias arguta)

Experience Level: Beginner

Steppe Runner

Steppe Runner

Did you know? Steppe Runners get their name from their fast, agile movements as well as the sand dunes, river valleys and semi-desert areas they originate from.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Because the natural habitat of a Steppe Runner is a variety of warm, temperate desert locations, the terrarium should replicate that environment. 

Terrarium

  • Use a well-ventilated, 10 gallon (18-20 inches long) or larger terrarium (A) for a single Steppe Runner. Larger habitats will be necessary if housing more than one. 
  • Screened lid (B)

Step 2Heating & Lighting

Adaquate habitat temperatures and humidity levels are imperative to the overall health of your lizard. Steppe Runners require a temperature gradient (cool side of the habitat and a warm side of the habitat) to appropriately regulate their body temperature. Temperatures within the habitat should also vary between day and nighttime hours. 

Heating

  • Every habitat should be equipped with two thermometers (C) (one on the cool side of the habitat and one on the warm or basking side of the habitat) and one hygrometer (D) to monitor the humidity levels. 
  • The basking spot should be the warmest point in the habitat during the day. Basking heat is provided by a high wattage heat bulb (E) placed directly above the basking spot. During the evening hours, the basking light is turned off.
  • Use a ceramic heat emitter or night heat lamp as needed to maintain the nighttime temperatures. 
Target Range
Humidity 30-50%
Temperature
Day-Cool Side 80-90° F (27-32° C)
Day-Basking Spot 90-100° F (18-24° C)
Night 65-75° F (18-24° C)

 Lighting

  • Use a daytime UVA/UVB (ultraviolet light) fluorescent bulb (F) for approximately 12 hours of visible light per day. Ultraviolet light can be provided in either a linear florescent bulb or a compact florescent bulb.
  • For viewing your reptile at night, use a night specific bulb to minimize visible light provided to your reptile. 

 

Step 3Substrate & Decor

Substrate 

  • Use a 2-3" (5-8 cm) layer of calcium sand (G).
  • Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

Decor

  • Include decor (H) to elevate your lizard close to the heat source of basking. The basking area is the warmest spot in the habitat. 
  • Add a wood/rock (I) hiding place in the cool area of the home for hiding.
  • Ensure decor is large and stable enough for the size of your lizard.
  • Provide branches (artificial or live) for hiding and climbing.

steppe runner habitat