The Uromastyx species are native to Africa and the Middle East, growing to a size of 6-12 inches and with proper care living upwards of 10+ years.
The Uromastyx has been in the pet trade for many years, more and more being imported as they are kept successfully indoors by keepers across the country. Captive-hatched specimens are wonderful pets if they are cared for properly. Uromastyx species are adapted to arid regions, found from northwestern India throughout southwestern Asia and the Arabian Peninsula to the Sahara. Some species are sexually dimorphic (males and females are visually different).
Appropriate enclosures for Uromastyx can include glass terrariums, commercial plastic cages, and outdoor pens. The enclosure needs to include a basking area at one end as well as a cooler side, so the lizard can moderate its heat as needed. Juveniles can be kept in 20-gallon long enclosures while larger individuals will require tanks from 40-75 gallons, depending on the size once full grown. The enclosure should be sterilized play sand that is kept dry, as too much moisture or humidity can cause the lizard to develop tail rot and other health issues. They also an area to hide in order to feel secure, which should be on the cooler side of the enclosure. They will require appropriate lighting, which needs to include UVB rays in addition to heat, as the lizard absorbs vitamins from these rays as well as heat.
The Uromastyx obtains moisture from the food they eat, although it is recommended that a shallow water dish be provided as well, for purified or dechlorinated water. They will also drink from rocks and wood in their enclosure when sprayed, which is recommended only a couple times each month to avoid raising humidity and moisture to unhealthy levels. Uromastyx are herbivorous and should be fed mixed greens, lettuce, shreadded sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, corn and other leafy vegetables like dandelion greens, alfalfa, grass and flowers. While some care sheets encourage feeding of insects to young Uromastyx, a high protein diet can prove detrimental or even fatal.