Species group: Plated Lizards
Other common names: African Plated Lizard, Great Plated Lizard, Rough-Scaled Plated Lizard
Scientific name: Gerrhosaurus major
The Sudan Plated Lizard is found in eastern and southeastern Africa. Their natural habitat includes savannahs and steppes of the sub-Saharan. They dig into termite mounds to feed and hide from the hot sun. They are also seen in forest areas.
Appearance / health:
The ground-dwelling Sudan Plated Lizard matures to about 27 inches in length, with the broad tail almost twice the length of the stout cylindrical body. The base color of the body is grayish brown to black. Small yellow spots give the lizard a yellowish brown tint. The belly is dark brown and the throat is yellowish white or cream. The limbs are fairly small compared to the body. The head is short and the eyes are large.
The Sudan Plated Lizard has rough head scales fused to the skull, and keeled, plate-like scales on the back. Grooves run laterally along the body, with folded skin underneath to allow for expansion after a large meal or when egg-laden (for females).
Behavior / temperament:
The Sudan Plated Lizard is diurnal, or active in the daytime. They are shy but are docile and easily tamed. Although armored and well protected against most predators, the threatened Sudan Plated Lizard will run and wedge itself among rock crevices to prevent extraction.
Sudan Plated Lizards are best kept in large enclosures with a 3 to 6-inch deep substrate that will allow the lizard to burrow. The recommended substrate material is a combination of sand and orchid bark. Hiding places and a water dish for drinking and soaking are essential. Day temp: 70-85 F; night temp: 60-75F; basking temp: 95-100F
Fresh water must be provided daily. The enclosure must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
The ideal diet for Sudan Plated Lizards include insects (caterpillars, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers), and some fruits and vegetables. They will also take other lizards and small rodents. Mineral-powdered crickets add the required nutrition for captive lizards.
Sudan Plated Lizards are oviparous. They lay 2-4 eggs in damp soil. The eggs hatch in 3-4 months.
people, health, cheap feeding schedule
nice log tunnel, basking spot, living king worm
If You can Make Long-term Commitment
While working at the Bronx Zoo, I was informed by a visiting friend, an old-time animal dealer, that our Sudan plated lizards were copulating. Upon noting the event on their ID cards, I realized that the pair had been delivered to the zoo 27 years earlier…by the same friend who had just observed alerted me to the breeding activity! An so it is with robust, ever-alert creatures – with proper care, longevities of 30+ years, and breeding, are quite possible.
Unfortunately, they are usually quite difficult to come by, and do not fare well unless provided with very large enclosures. But if you have the space and ability to meet their needs, Sudan (or Giant) plated lizards are well-worth a close look.
A huge terrarium or preferably, a custom-built enclosure, is essential if a healthful temperature gradient (78-88 F, with a basking site of 100-110 F) is to be established; a 125 gallon tank or larger will suit an adult. High levels of UVB are essential to their survival and, as they are adapted to arid habitats, humidity should be low. They are most comfortable when able to dig into a deep substrate of sand and orchid bark.
A wide variety of calcium and vitamin-supplemented butterworms, sow bugs, locusts, crickets, roaches, hornworms, super mealworms, and wild-caught invertebrates, with the addition of a pinky each 6-8 weeks, is required for proper nutrition. Limiting the diet to crickets and mealworms will result in your pet’s early demise – please do not re-prove this infallible rule! Many individuals also accept mixed fruits and vegetables, but most under my care did very well on invertebrate-based diets.
As alert as any lizard with its body heated to 100 F can be, plateds tend to remain high-strung, and are best thought of as pets to observe only. Long term captives may adapt to careful handling, but they show themselves to best advantage when left undisturbed in large, naturalistic terrariums or outdoor enclosures..
From findiviglio Nov 25 2015 4:30PM