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Armadillo lizards occur naturally in South Africa. They are diurnal creatures, reaching an adult size of somewhere between seven to nine inches in length. They live in social groups amongst rocky outcrops, wedging themselves between the cracks and crevices of the rocks. The underbelly is yellow with a blackish pattern, especially under the chin. They are one of comparatively few live-bearing lizards
They are insect eaters and have an interesting defense, in that if frightened, they will grab their tail in
their mouth and roll into a ball. This behavior is remarkably like that of the mammalian armadillo, which explains
the common English name for these lizards. And just as it does for the mammal, this defensive posture enables the
lizard to protect its soft underbelly from predators, exposing only its armored back. Enclosure Requirements:
A 20-gallon "high" aquarium, 24"x12"x16", would be a suitable enclosure for up to 4 adults, 3 females and 1 male. A baby to sub-adult Armadillos can easily be housed in a 10-gallon aquarium, 20"x10"x12". Though I have heard that multiple males can live in the same cage if the enclosure is big enough and there is enough hiding space, I don't recommend housing more than 1 male per cage. Two males have never successfully lived together in any of the reptile species.
Other enclosure necessities: It is necessary that you include a lot of artificial plants and other such cover. Without plants and places to hide, your lizard will be very stressed out. Stress in any animal can lead to sickness and even death. I've been told, though I don't try it myself, that you can house several males in the same cage together so long as you have two requirements; one, you have a large enough cage. Two, you have an ample amount of hiding spaces that it is likely they might never see each other. Don't forget armadillo dragons really enjoy climbing. This means content lizards have branches, vines and/or hanging plants. All of these extra accessories will add to the overall display to the enclosure and to the enclosure's ability to retain moisture for added humidity. Substrate:
No one substrate is the best, each has its own good qualities and its bad qualities. However, there are some substrates that aren't good, some can be downright poisonous to animals both of those categories should be avoided. The substrates that should be avoided are the dry, dusty substrates such as sand and wood chips or shavings. Heating/Lighting Requirements :
Armadillo Lizards enjoy almost room temperature weather; the ideal basking temp is 75°-80° Fahrenheit. The ambient temperature should be from the low to mid 70's. To reach these temperatures all you would really need is an ultraviolet (UV) ray light bulb. However, these don't require extreme amounts of UV Rays, only 7% or so. These characteristics make them pretty easy and inexpensive to care for.Humidity Requirements:
Armadillo Lizards enjoy and thrive in a moderate humid environment. To meet such needs you would require large water dishes as well as multiple spray bottle misting per day. Of course, it would certainly help to add natural and/or artificial plants and a layer of moss to the bedding. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it also aids in keeping up humidity levels. If you wanted to get real fancy but isn't necessary unless your humidity levels aren't high enough; you could add a misting system. Diet:
Armadillo Lizards are purely insectivores. It is a good idea to feed them a variety of prey items that are dusted or "gutloaded" with calcium, because without the calcium supplements they won't be getting the proper nutrients. Feed them about 5-8 appropriate-sized (no wider than their mouth) prey items every day. A variety would be (this short list is not all-inclusive) crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, etc. It isn't suggested that you feed them wax worms on a regular basis as it can lead to obesity.
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