Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Illinois, United States
Posted Apr 19, 2012
The Ornate Uromastyx is a beautiful and intriguing lizard. They get to be about 15-18 inch sin length. They are unarguably the most beautiful of the Uromastyx species, with colors of bright green or blue year-round. They are also one of the few lizards that can be fed a completely herbivorous diet... in fact, animal protein, while often accepted eagerly, is not good for uromastyx, and so should be less than 5% of their diet. The lack of live food makes the convenience of the uromastyx something to be desired. It also makes them relatively inexpensive to feed, as long as you don't mind trips to the local fresh produce stand. It can also be difficult, though extremely important, to keep a basking area of 115-120, with the rest of the tank not dropping below 80.
Uromastyx should have a diet made up primarily of dark leafy greens, and spinach should be offered sparingly. Fruits and veggies can be given as well, with radishes and berries being popular choices. Beans, while enjoyed, should be fed sparingly due to their low moisture content. A water dish should not be offered except during sheds, as most uromastyx will not drink. In the wild they get all moisture from their food, so it should be misted before being offered. A bowl of birdseed should always be available, as it aids in digestion.
Ornate Uromastyx are generally handleable, and are regarded as having the best temperament of the Uromastyx family. They are, however, the most likely to become sedentary and less active as adult, and are also harder to pair. Importation of the Ornate Uromastyx from Egypt is no longer legal, and so specimens are rare and are all captive bred. Ornates are also not as durable as the more popular species of Uromastyx.