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 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

Hello All. First Post and First Uro …

I purchased him from Petsmart yesterday. Details and pics below. Primary questions thus far include age estimate (youngster or adult), painted tail issues (problem?), and Scientific Name?

Petsmart claims he is about 7 months old but they seemed to be guessing. The tail is quite rusty red but Petsmart claims it is because he was kept in red dyed sand and once he sheds that color will be gone. Petsmart labeled him as a “Saharan Uromastyx” but I’d really like to know exactly what he is..benti, mali, etc… Any ideas?

This is my first Uro so feel encouraged to shout out if you see blaring errors in our current setup especially since we are still “setting up” and/or have any advice. I am reading up as much as I can etc in hopes of getting things going as best I can for him/her.

1) How long have you owned the animal

24 hours

2) Dimensions of the enclosure you are using. Measure it- do not guess or give gallon size

36L X 18W (glass breeder tank with mesh lid that I placed some tin foil on to help increase the heat…I was not able to get the temps up without the makeshift tinfoil solution for now and still not optimum)

3) Species (if known), length, and weight of the animal

Petsmart data says “Saharan Uromastyx” would like a more scientific name/identity. Petsmart also “claimed” about 7 months old but two different employees said two different things and I’d really like to know if he is young or “obviously older”

4) Listing of all animals kept in the enclosure referred to in the post

Just the one Uro…was told by petshop they had to be kept alone. I’m more than fine keeping him alone but if a “buddy” is a good idea then I’d also be more than fine increasing the enclosure size and picking up another one…

5) Basking spot temperature and how that temperature was measured

Digital thermometer: 106F (heading out today to buy bigger/warmer lighting kit)

6) Temperature throughout the rest of the enclosure (warm and cool areas) and how these temperatures were measured e.g. digital thermometer, stick on dial thermometer. Provide the nighttime temperatures as well.

Digital thermometer: coolest side seems to range from 85 to 90F

7) Acknowledge whether you are using a UVB bulb and if so, the brand, age of bulb, and distance from the bulb to the uromastyx

Yes, 18” slimline, across center of enclosure, one day old, 15W, 50 UVB (need more or is this fine?) Also currently have two day heat basking bulbs and one night infrared 50W on the tank..but again..heading out today to buy a bigger/better lighting kit cuz what I have is not doing the trick…

8) Diet items being fed and how often each item is fed

Only fed once so far, romaine, (he has not really eaten more than a tiny bit of the lettuce)

9) List of the supplements being used, how much is used, and how often the supplement is used

None yet… currently thinking calcium supplement about once per week but still reading to figure out best mix… I have a degree in nutrition/dietetics so hoping to study up to ensure he’s getting more of his needs met from food than supplements…but need him to start eating first :) At Petsmart his food bowl had dark greens and carrots but I’ve noticed carrots are more of a candy treat than a staple

10) Type of substrate (cage bottom material). If this is sand, state whether it is calcium sand

25 lbs of ground walnut bedding

11) Describe your animal’s daily routine. When it exits the hide, when it retreats for the night, how long it is usually out throughout the day, is it active during this time, how much time does it spend sitting on the basking spot….

Just brought the uro home yesterday… after some exploration of the enclosure he dug a spot up in the hide and has pretty much stayed in there…

12) Describe your animal’s appetite.

None yet….

13) Describe any unusual behaviors you are seeing or any recent changes in behavior. Also note whether any recent modifications have been made to this animal’s environment. e.g new enclosure, move to another room, new heat bulb....

Just moved him from the little Petsmart enclosure to his new enclosure here

14) Describe how often this animal is handled and the type of handling.

Not planning to handle any more than have to for his sake but am hoping to try tong/hand feeding to encourage interaction once he gets more comfortable and used to his new feeding routines etc…

15) State whether the animal has been to a vet, when that was, and whether the animal was diagnosed with a medical condition. Also state whether the uromastyx has ever had a fecal check. If so states when the fecal check was done, what was found, and if medication was prescribed.

Not yet… again I’ve only had him a day…but when I do see some fecal matter I plan to take it in for testing.

Here is Suleiman the Magnificent (we shall call him Sully).

His back is more dark dark green/gray/black with yellow dots/circles. The tail is rusty red but that may be dye

Tail is starting to shed off…again he is more yellow than white in the light patches

Dyed tail from colored sand?

He has a VERY yellow underbelly with black blotches

The camera is just not picking up the yellow through the tank…but again it is bright yellow

Tinfoil is of course not where the lights themselves shine through the mesh…

Note the “painted tail” shedding. Dark back with yellowish whitish rings

He’s about 8 inches long… almost exactly four for the tail and four for the body but “exact” measurements not taken as I’m trying not to stress him out..just held measuring tape to the glass for a ‘close estimate’

Here he is in the enclosure with my “make shift tinfoil heat retention system” lol

As I put together this post he became a whole lot more active (but still has done no more than lick his food a couple of times). His colors have also become brighter with deeper yellow on the underside, a reddish side stripe and a couple of reddish blotches on legs, and dark blackish/green with whitish yellow circles on his top side.

05/28/14  11:53am


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305368

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

One more pic of Sully with a bit more yellow showing...

05/28/14  12:10pm


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305370

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

Update: Confirmed Uromastyx geyri

05/28/14  12:35pm


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305372

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

One more update... he is no longer in crushed walnut shells.... he is now in a stone only tank without a grain of sand...

05/30/14  04:10pm


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305402

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

Looks like a nice set up. Did you get that basking temperature higher by any chance? Closer to 120 would be good for the basking spot. My guys basking spot stays around 130. Warm side of the tank should be near 100 and cool side 85 is just fine. Has he started eating? Lettuce isn’t ideal. Hes definitely a Saharan which is the common name for a geyri. Check out urowiki for proper food. Curly endive, escarole, dandelion greens are the most commonly suggested greens. My guy wont touch endive or escarole.

06/02/14  09:56pm


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  Message To: LookingforUro   In reference to Message Id: 2305478

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

Yes the basking spot temp (right on the highest surface area for him to bask) has reached holds at about 122F no higher yet but summer is upon us and I do not have air so it’s certain to be higher (once summer hits I’ll have to be careful it doesn’t get too high lol).

He is eating every morning now --- SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT!!!

He still will not touch the dandelion which shocks me considering everything I’ve read. He does eat the endives and he eats one or two of the lentils I put in for him as a substrate/dig spot ... He will also eat Watercress.... His FAVORITE food is snow pea leaves... my boyfriend is an organic gardener and every morning he brings in a small handful of fresh snow pea leaves just for Sully since he eats them and Sully goes nutz for them!!! I keep offering a variety of foods from the care sheets I’ve put together but those snow pea leaves are his thing... I don’t see them on the lists as a staple food but since they wont hurt him it gives us the chance to keep introducing other options along with his favorite.

I had to giggle because now our veggie garden has some new entries since my boyfriend reviewed the care sheets and decided to start growing stuff for Sully.... so this little guy will soon be getting even more fresh veggies from the garden :)

I can’t even express how happy I was to see him finally start eating. His colors have also gotten much brighter since he started eating and basking more... He’s still fairly shy and does go back to his hide in the early afternoon not to emerge again until the next morning but I assume he’s still acclimating.

Thanks for asking :)

06/04/14  09:29am


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305493

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

Your set up looks really nice!! He’s a very lucky uro =) I recently acquired my first Uro as well, a Mali, named Worf.

May I ask where you got the idea/info for doing an all rock enclosure? I really like the idea, and I know that in the wild they prefer rocky outcrops, but in all my research I don’t recall coming across someone suggesting it. How is it for cleaning up? I imagine it would be harder than a sand or sand-like substrate, but still pretty manageable?

There are so many controversies in husbandry for Uros it’s ridiculous. You really have to be careful where you get information. I have found it very frustrating, but I feel pretty confident that we are meeting Worf’s needs. As for the calcium, from what I’ve seen it is the most important thing to be supplementing them, and I had a vet tell me that you "can’t overdose them on calcium". You should also research giving him D3 and a multivitamin, my research has turned them up as being important in small doses (like once a week sort of thing).

A word of advice: be really careful when you do take Sully into a vet... We took Worf into the only vet in the area who has someone who "specializes" in reptiles, and she gave us very very bad information from a single source that someone had written by reading about (not owning or working with) uros in 1994.... a time when we knew much less about them... She said that leafy greens should be a supplemental food, not a staple, and that uros are omnivorous, and require a couple of crickets/superworms/mealworms 3-4 times a week, which is NOT the case at all! I’m sure you’ve come across this already, but yes, uros will eat insects more than happily, but they can’t process animal protein very well, so anything more than very rarely can cause serious liver problems, among other things. Essentially, just make sure that you back-check everything even a vet tells you, as it seems uros are not a species that many have a lot of experience with yet. All of the things the vet we toke him to told us were from that one source, which upon research proved not very reliable, and way out of date.

06/04/14  10:35am


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  Message To: Yellwarbler   In reference to Message Id: 2305494

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

I got the idea mainly from researching the natural terrain... I also have experience with Bearded Dragons and I’ve worked with many many varieties of turtles when I lived in FL so the whole environment/basking/diet talk is not something I’m new too...but Uros is lol I’m well-versed in cross-checking info that’s for sure... there is entirely too much bad info out there!!

The rocks are actually quite easy to clean and something I’ve done for other animals quite often. While in the tank..if he poops or pees I just take a damp papertowel and wipe it up. For major cleaning, I only need to lift the stones out and wash them down...they dry really fast so it’s no big deal... I personally think it’s a lot easier than other substrate options...

A major key to the Vit D issue is the UVB lighting and a varied diet (for which I added a 150w PowerSun UVB bulb to the slimline setup which helped get the heat up...he seems to like it cuz he basks under it). I don’t know about overdosing but I’m not a fan of supplements when I know real food works better so I’m more content just supplementing weekly at most providing he’s otherwise well and eating...

For his dietary needs, I collected a ton of care sheet diet recommendations...if something showed up on the "Do Not Feed" side I jotted it down as a don’t even if it showed up on the Yes Feed side of other care sheets...I’m taking no chances. Currently he’s a picky eater but hopefully over time he’ll start taking a wider variety... I’ve also heard that offering some mazuri tortoise food can help as a supplement ... my only issue is wanting to ensure he eats ’wet food’ as in fresh vegies because that’s how he gets his water so if he gets hooked on dry food I’d worry about his water intake...

CONGRATS on your new guy!!!!! I gotta admit I’ve gotten hooked rather quickly to mine :)

06/04/14  06:38pm


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  Message To: KittenScratches   In reference to Message Id: 2305504

 Dyed Uromastyx - New Owner

The tail looks like shed that’s been tinted by ironized earth. It happens a lot on fresh imports. It should come off with his first shed.He actually has a bit of the staining on the face too. I’ve never seen anything bad happen because of it, or in concurrence.

Age is impossible to guess unless you have a CB Uro. With imports, it becomes even more difficult because they grow so much slower in the wild compared to captivity. How long is he in cm? and how many grams? Usually they hit about 100g’s at a year and so forth...

And yeah, Uromastyx Geyri, Saharan Uromastyx, Nigerian Uromastyx. They have a lot of common names .

Don’t worry about the eating thing. The hotter they are, they more eager they eat. He’s probably just warming up. Getting used to the cage and such.

07/01/14  11:14pm

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