A new keeper's guide to the Pogona Rankini / Henrylawsoni Dragon

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 Post subject: Nigerian Uromastyx or ornate uromastyx?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:08 am 
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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:58 pm
I walked into my favorite local pet shop yesterday, and a few days ago they had gotten in 2 adorable, 5" baby ornate uros. They were eating, and active when I held them. They had nice pretty patterns but were not showing any color. ( Do the colorful ornates show color when they are this young or does it begin to develope with each shed?) I have heard that as adults, Ornates tend to be couch potatoes. I not sure if that is a bad thing or not.

I've read alot of nice reports about the Nigerian Uromastyx which I think is smaller than the ornate. People say they have great personalities, even as adults. I hope some of you have had experience with both of these and can share the pros and cons of each. Also, because these are small uros I'd think they wouldn't need as large an enclosure as the bigger uros would need. What is the minimum size tank you'd recommend for a single, Nigerian or ornate uromastyx?

Thanks again for reading my post and hopefully replying to it.

 Post subject: Re: Nigerian Uromastyx or ornate uromastyx?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:52 am
Seattle, USA

Pet Dragon Info:
Rankins: Mitzi (F).
Beardies: Luca (M), Mocha (M)
Blue Tongue Skinks: Teal (F), Cinnamon (?)
Giant Mexican Horned Lizards: Linus (M), Louis (M)
Uromastyx: Brian (M), Chloe (F), Kora (F), Kami (M), Melody (F), Murray (M), Omar (M)

At 5" most male Ornates should be showing color. If they are just a beige/brown there's a possibility they are both females. This may not be a bad thing. Here's why: There is a lot of talk at the moment around putting an import ban on Ornate Uromastyx. If this ever does happen, the price of Ornates will skyrocket and females will become particularly valuable.

I have a pair of Ornates and love them dearly. They are a little skittish but very sweet once you have them out.

Nigerians, better known as Saharans, are stunning to look at when they get bigger. Often solid reds and oranges. They also have a good disposition. The big problem is that a lot of Saharans currently being sold as "Captive Bred" are actually wild caught specimens and many of them develop health problems within the first year. If you are satisfied that they are captive bred then this might be a good animal to buy.

I would consider the Ornates first though. If they are being sold as a pair and you plan on breeding them (or even if you don't) you want to check and see if they are related. If they are then they will need to be housed separately to prevent breeding. If there is a male, try and find out which color he is supposed to be (males will either be blue or green). The greens are harder to find these days.

For a pair of Ornates you could probably get away with a 4ft enclosure. This would allow them to develop territory and to move about comfortably. Saharans are a little bigger but you could house a single specimen in a 3ft viv. They do like to climb a little and this helps keep their claws from becoming tiny daggers, so a log and some grapewood branches laid on their side will be good additions.

Hope this helps,

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted" - Prof. Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
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