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Crevice Spiny Lizard care sheet

Housing: a wooden vivarium of at least 34" in length

Heating: basking temperature of 90oF

UVB Lighting: desert strength 10%-12% UVB

Diet: Omnivorous mix of live foods and vegetation

Decoration: dry substrates and decor so not to raise humidity levels

A crevice spiny lizard is best kept in a large wooden vivarium. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat. Other enclosures such as glass terrariums are far too efficient at releasing heat making it difficult to get up to temperature and keep this temperature consistent throughout the year. The wooden vivarium should have good ventilation to help remove humidity and replenish the air in the enclosure.

The crevice spiny lizard vivarium should be at least 860mm (34") in length. Though this is a small lizard the vivarium needs to have a sufficient length to allow for the creation of a temperature gradient. The enclosure needs to be hot at one end, but have enough distance for the temperature to drop at the cool end.

 

During the day, crevice spiny lizards require a very hot basking temperature. This is achieved by using clear spot bulbs at one end of the vivarium. To accomplish the required basking temperature of 90oF we use 1x basking bulb (50w in a large Vivexotic vivarium). A narrower basking area can be achieved by using a higher wattage bulb instead. Basking bulb should be on for 10- 12 hours per day.

At night crevice spiny lizard require a drop in temperature. The basking light should be switched off so the enclosure gets darker. Crevice spiny lizard typically do not require any additional night-time heating and are happy to drop down to the room temperature.

 

Crevice spiny lizards are desert dwelling reptiles. Animals that actively bask in hot climates naturally receive a high dose of UVB from the sun. Their UVB tube should reflect that. A fluorescent UVB tube should be used inside the vivarium with a reflector so no UVB is wasted. The tube should be at least 10% UVB for desert species. There are 2 different types of fluorescent tube, T8 and T5. T5 tubes are the new technology providing double the range (24'') and lasting twice as long (12 months) so if possible we would recommend the upgrade.

These lizards require UVB in order to synthesise vitamin D3 inside their skin. The vitamin D3 helps the crevice spiny lizard to absorb calcium which crucial for bone structure and growth. Without the UVB the crevice spiny lizard may not be able to use the calcium in it's diet.

It is recommended that T8 bulbs are replaced every 6 months and T5 bulbs every 12 months.

 

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Crevice spiny lizards should always be kept on a dry substrate so not to increase the humidity inside the vivarium.We keep crevice spiny lizards on sand. Whilst any loose substrate has the potential to be accidentally swallowed we have found that with a good diet and the correct set up the crevice spiny lizard is unlikely to ingest it's substrate.

Whilst crevice spiny lizards are not an arboreal lizard, they do like to climb on top of things to survey their surroundings. The vivarium should be decorated with various pieces of wood or rock to enable them to do this.

The crevice spiny lizard vivarium can be decorated with artificial plants for a more natural look. Desert plants look very effective and also provide further perches for the crevice spiny lizard. Trailing plants are very good at disguising electrical wires and equipment, as well as providing cover for young lizards.

 

Crevice spiny lizards are dry animals so they do not require any water in the vivarium. Crevice spiny lizards are mainly herbivores. Good vegetables include: dandelion, clover, honeysuckle, leafy salads, watercress, curly kale, brussel tops, spring greens, coriander, parsley, rocket, carrot, parsnip, courgette, peppers and small amounts of non citric fruit. Ones to avoid include: cabbage, spinach, onion, tomato, buttercup, citric fruits and iceberg lettuce. Calcium should be provided daily and dusted directly onto the crevice spiny lizards food. Vitamins may be also be added daily.

Crevice spiny lizard should also be provided a livefood diet. We have found that brown crickets are the most readily accepted, but you can also try black crickets, dubia cockroaches or locusts (hoppers). On occasion, for variation you can offer other bugs such as mealworms, waxworms or calciworms.

 

If you keep a male and female together, they may breed. You do not need to do anything to encourage this, providing they are healthy and the conditions are good, it will happen naturally. You need to consider whether you want this to happen. What will you do with the babies?

A gravid female does not require any additional nesting material. In some cases if the male is extremely active or is stressin the female it may be worth temporarily removing him from the enclosure. Common Boa constrictors are a livebearing species so they will not lay eggs. Roughly 24 weeks after mating she will give birth, the babies should be removed immediately and placed in a smaller enclosure with a moist substrate.