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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Mali Uromastyx

Mali Uromastyx


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Traits & behavior

They eat only plant matter; mostly vegetables and some fruits.

This means that they are active during the day and sleep at night.

They like to dig and burrow into the sand.

With proper care, your uromastyx could live to be more than 35 years old.

Things to remember

Always supervise children when they're interacting with your uromastyx.

Wait 3-4 days for your pet to adjust to his new surroundings, then try holding him for short amounts of time.

Uromastyx are originally from the desert and need a warm, dry environment.

Food safety
Fresh fruits and vegetables require their own dish and should be removed from the habitat after four hours to prevent spoilage.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.


80% of the diet should be raw vegetables. Choose kale, collard or mustard greens, thawed frozen mixed vegetables, shredded carrots, radishes and dandelion greens.

About 20% of the diet should be fruits like melon, red berries, mangoes, bananas and plums. Offer fruit every third or fourth feeding.

Feeding frequency & amount
Feed 1-2 tablespoons per day.

Bird seed
Sprinkle a layer of parakeet or finch seed over every other feeding to aid digestion.

Calcium dust
"Dust" your pet's food with a calcium supplement every other feeding - ask a PetSmart associate for details.

Although uromastyx obtain water from their food, provide a small water dish; change daily.


Signs of a healthy mali uromastyx:

  • Clear, alert eyes
  • Eats normally
  • Breathes easily
  • Sheds regularly during growth
  • Well-formed droppings every 2-3 days

Things to watch for:

  • Runny droppings or red streaks in droppings for more than two days
  • Eating less; weight loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Shedding problems; discolored skin
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs above, please consult an experienced Reptile Veterinarian as soon as possible.


Use a 35-gallon or larger, glass terrarium with a screen lid for proper ventilation.

Keep the humidity level around 20%. A hygrometer (humidity gauge) will help you keep track.


  • Day - Maintain a daytime temperature between 85-95° F
  • Basking - Provide a basking spot lamp to create a localized basking area of 110-115° F
  • Night - Maintain a nighttime temperature between 65-75° F (use a ceramic heat emitter if necessary)
  • Place a thermometer at each end of the home to monitor temperatures

Line a juvenile's (less than 6" long) home with reptile carpet to prevent ingestion of bedding. For adults, (larger than 6" long) use 3"- 6" of calcium sand. Clean out waste weekly and change bedding at least once a month.

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