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RE: yellow throat plated please help

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Posted by: Matt Campbell at Thu Sep 16 22:40:06 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Matt Campbell ]  
   

To answer your questions:

#1-im planning on building their cage, and was thinking a 4x4ft floor space, would this be big enough

That size would be excellent for a pair. I would say 4 feet in depth is a bit much - you could perhaps make it 3 foot by 5 foot.

#2-whats the best substrate for them.

For all of my Plated Lizards I use cypress mulch or pine bark nuggets [in small size]. I keep substrate to a shallow depth of about 2 inches or so. They don't seem to burrow much if you give them good hide spots.

#3-what materials make the best humid hide for them

I just direct misting into the artificial crevices I've made as hide spots. For a nesting site for my one female I use moistened Bed-A-Beast [ground up coconut husk].

#4, i know they eat a variety of things, how often should what be given.

They're fairly omnivorous so I offer mine superworms [Zoophobas], crickets, nightcrawlers, Ectotherm Yummies brand Forest Tortoise gel food, Ectotherm Carnivore Yummies, and last but not least a fair mix of fresh fruits and vegetables including but not limited to, greens [Green and Red Leaf lettuce, green beans - chopped -, turnip and dandelion greens], tomato, strawberries, kiwi, etc.

#5-how stong of uv lighting should i get, 5.0 or 8.0 seem to be the main choices.

I assume you're talking about ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 and Hagen Exoterra 8.0? In any case some testing I've read seems to indicate the Exoterra puts out just as much UVB as the Reptisun. Either would be a good choice.

#6-how hot should the hot end be, and how cool should the cool end be.

I keep mine at an average temperature of 82 - 85 degrees, with a basking spot approaching 90 degrees and cool side around 78 to 80 degrees.

#7- i know they can swim, so would it be fine to put a pool in their cage, say 6inch deep.

I'm not familiar with any citations indicating they like to swim. Most Plated Lizard species are from scrubland type habitat which tends to be somewhat arid or at least not exactly wet. I would say a medium-size water bowl would be acceptable.


and lastly for now

#8- do their nails need to be trimmed like some of the other larger lizards?

If you provide some rocks for basking under spot lights and a good substrate for digging around than they should wear their nails down normally. If you want to handle them on a regular basis [I don't handle mine], then you should probably trim their nails using a pair of small clippers.

Hope this helps. Feel free to post any other questions or email me directly.
-----
Matt Campbell
Animal Keeper, Small Mammal/Reptile House
Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago, Illinois

Assistant Curator
Wildlife Discovery Center at Elawa Farm
Lake Forest, Illinois


   

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