Sudan Plated Lizard (Gerrhosaurus major)
A.K.A. African Plated Lizard, Great Plated Lizard
Sudan Plated Lizards are medium-to-large sized grayish-brown lizards with plated scales. They can grow up to 1 ½ to 2 feet from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail. These lizards can live up to 12-18 years if taken care of properly.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to the deserts of North Africa, especially Sudan.
These lizards do well with a substrate of sand or sand/gravel mix. They will sometimes burrow, so be sure the substrate is deep enough to accommodate this behavior. Add plenty of plants, wood, and rocks to the tank for them to climb and hide in.
A single Sudan Plated Lizard takes up a bit of space and will do well in a 50 gallon tank. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating.
Sudan Plate Lizards need 12-14 hours of light a day. A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 73-85º F during the day and nighttime temperatures around 70-75º F. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.
In addition to UV light, these lizards need a hotter basking area of about 90-95º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light for this. Heat rocks are not recommended as they can burn your animal.
Your tank should have a shallow bowl of water that is cleaned daily. This is for your lizard to drink from as well as wade in. Some lizards won’t drink from a bowl. In this case some sort of dropper is recommended. Misting the tank with a spray bottle every 2 or 3 days is also recommended.
Sudan Plated Lizards are mainly insectivorous. They will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your lizard time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.