Considering a mali Uromastyx pet
I’m considering a mali uromastyx as a pet and I’m doing my very best to understand exactly what I’m getting in to before i go for it so that i can look after it properly. If anyone could answer my questions it would really be appreciated.
Firstly, I’ve seen some places that they are 100% vegetarian, others say they can eat some bugs and some have even said that bugs can be harmful to them as a part of their diet. Can anyone give me a definite answer?
How are they to handle? Again some have said they are lovely and enjoy being handled, others that they hate it.
What are the best foods to use for its staple diet?
Are they aggressive? More confusing bits of information on the internet, some say they don’t bite and that they don’t even have teeth, others have said they have a nasty bite and that they can be aggressive (particularly the males).
Should heat rocks be used in their tanks? Someone on youtube said that they will be burnt by them.
I will appreciate anyone taking the time to answer any of my questions, i just want to do a good job :)
Message To: Rothery In reference to Message Id: 2302263
Considering a mali Uromastyx pet
Ok.. so lots of questions. I will do my best to answer. Hopefully Vers will see this and have better answers for you.
They are vegetarians.. thats not to say that they wont eat bugs. If you offer it they will eat it. Bugs, animal protein in general is harmful to them over time and will cause illness and eventually organ failure. Will your lizard die from one cricket? No.. but its generally accepted as a bad idea to offer any bugs.
They are generally not a hold and pet type of lizard. They are not like a bearded dragon. While some will tolerate holding.. they would much rather be running around. If you have one that lets you pick it up.. be prepared for it to want to get out of your hands and run off.. and they run fast. Also... I handle my guy as little as possible because they need to remain fairly hot for most of their daytime hours. Unless your house is 120 degrees (which i surely hope it isnt) he shouldn’t be hanging out anywhere but in his vivarium. Gordo comes out for weight and length measurements about once a month.
Foods.. best are in the chicory family, curly endive and escarole. My guy absolutely refuses to eat either of these. I give him dandelion greens, butternut squash, zuchinni, pumpkin (which I offered at halloween because I had a ton of cut outs... and he loved), spring mix with the spinach and chard removed, and mazuri tortoise pellets put through the blender and powdered. In spring.. he likes pansies and dandelions which I grow myself so I know there are no pesticides on them. There are a ton of acceptable foods.. but definitely try curly endive and escarole first.
Are they aggressive... each animal has its own personality. Some may be super friendly.. others may be shy.. and some can be aggressive. My guy has never tried to bite me.. but they have a mouth.. and they can bite you. If you get bit.. I can not imagine it feels too good. They have a very powerful jaw, much more so than a bearded dragon, and I have seen bearded dragons bite through a fingernail. They more often use their tails as defense. I have a male.. and he is in no way aggressive.. not even with his tail.
I do not use heat rocks for any reptile. I know that bearded dragons can not feel heat on their belly (skin) so I am quite sure uromastyx can’t either. Which means that if they rock gets too hot.. or malfunctions in any way.. the lizard wont know and will burn its belly.
I hope I answered everything well and I hope someone who has kept these guys longer chimes in too! I have only had my guy since last february and am still learning.
One last thing that you didn’t ask but I feel is important to note.. don’t give them baths or mist them, or even have a water dish in the enclosure. Water can get caught in their tail and cause tail rot.