Species group: Uromastyx, Dabb and Spiny-Tailed Lizards
Scientific name: Uromastyx ocellata ornata
The Eyed Dabb Lizard is found from Egypt to the Arabian peninsula. It is also seen in Somalia and Eritrea. Eyed Dabb Lizards (Uromastyx ocellata ornata) are fairly closely related to the larger Ornate Uromastyx (Uromastyx ornatus).
Appearance / health:
Eyed Dabb Lizards average 12.5 inches in length. Females are usually light brown with light colored spots and bars on the back but males, especially the healthy and optimally warmed ones are extremely colorful, with intensely brilliant bluish-green or reddish-brown shades and markings. They are considered among the best-colored lizards of the world. Femoral pores are dominant in the male.
Behavior / temperament:
Uromastyx lizards are diurnal. They are active during the day, climbing over rocks and digging into burrows and crevices. They are docile and attractive, making them one of the most favored lizards in the pet trade.
Similar to other Uromastyx lizards, the Eyed Dabb Lizard is best housed in a savannah-type terrarium with a substrate that allows digging, preferably 6-12 inches deep. The recommended substrate is sand, soil, or paper, and should be kept dry. The tank should be misted 2-3 times a week to maintain adequate moisture. Piles of stones or big rocks should be provided for climbing, as well as cavities or burrows (such as snake hide boxes) for hiding and security.
Most Uromastyx lizards are territorial. Keeping Eyed Dabb Lizards in pairs is recommended, although keeping them in groups with only one male is also practiced by pet owners. Living in groups might be uncomfortable to some individuals, which should be removed and housed separately to reduce stress. The ideal hibernation period is 3 months at 50-59F.
The Eyed Dabb Lizards is omnivorous. Its regular diet is chopped vegetables and greens, corn, rice, millet, and other grain, as well as sunflower seeds. At times it will eat insects and baby mice. In captivity, it should be given vitamin and mineral supplements. Heating should be optimized for good digestion.
Winter cooling at 68F is recommended before the breeding season, which is in early spring. A small box of moist sand or vermiculite should be placed in the cage for egg-laying. Eggs should be removed from the cage and incubated separately.
irresistible bulldoglike face
wide temperature gradient
low protein diet, occasional root vegetables, grassland tortoise chow, wild native plants
A Good Choice for Serious Lizard Keepers
In common with its relatives, the eyed Uromastyx sports a stocky frame, an irresistible bulldog-like face and a laid-back disposition. It is also modest in size, and strikingly-colored. Like all Uromastyx, the eyed can be quite hardy – individuals of several species I kept during my career as a herpetologist lived into their 20’s, and greater longevities have been reported. But their needs are very specific – and if unmet, they decline very quickly.
Ultra-high levels of UVB, as well as UVA, are essential – try your best to provide some exposure to unfiltered sunlight (even a few minutes can be useful) whenever possible. A wide temperature gradient – 80-100 F, with a basking spot of 120 F and a sharp drop in temperature at night, must be established. This is impossible in anything but a very large enclosure. Custom-built cages and cattle troughs are the best options, and their size will also allow these desert specialists to pursue their near-obsessive passion for digging.
Strict attention must also be paid to the diet. Uromastyx have evolved to consume a fibrous, low protein diet, and cannot live on the rich diet favored by many commonly-kept herbivorous lizards. A wide variety of fibrous greens, wild native plants, grasses, seeds and legumes, supplemented with calcium and vitamins, occasional root vegetables, and grassland tortoise chow, must be provided if they are to thrive..
From findiviglio Nov 13 2015 6:42PM