Though not my first plated lizard this handsome fella was given to me over the weekend by a local friend who rescued him from a home where he was no longer wanted. He seems to be in decent enough shape, but I was told his diet previously consisted of solely insects which was no bueno.
He is an adult Sudan plated lizard from… you guessed it, Sudan in Northern Africa. Actually their range is fairly extensive; so much so that they’re also called the western plated lizard, and their range even extends into south Africa. Plated lizards of several different species are found throughout Africa and the desert species have very similar care to bearded dragons in most respects. They can however be a little more tolerant of higher humidity spikes, and they spend much of their time in the wild hiding under and between rocks. They get their name “plated” from the bony plate structures under their skin that basically encase their body in armor. Their diet is that of an omnivore just like the bearded dragon so they will eat a wide variety of both plant and animal matter. They look similar to skinks and are often compared to them, but I feel that is unfair to the glory that is a plated lizard. Also, they are not closely related to skinks. Unfortunately, because imports are so cheap there has not been a lot of interest in establishing captive breeding programs which means most if not all of the animals in captivity came from wild populations. They can be very skiddish in the cage at first, but they calm down rather nicely with regular handling and can make excellent pets.
This fella here should color up some when he warms up and then even more during breeding season and he is pretty much full-grown now at about 19 inches. They can drop their tails but they are not as prone to doing so as say a leopard gecko might be. It’s pretty much a last resort since they use the tail as a defense mechanism to shield their body from predators when hiding in rock crevices.
I look forward to getting to know this guy and hope you do to.
P.s. I tried to find a range map illustration for these guys to share with you but was unsuccessful. If anyone is able to find one please PM me a link.
I’ve dubbed him Juggernaut
Almost forgot to put up this nifty skull pic I found…