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Orange Spotted Agama

or, Black Agama


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The Black Agama Lizard, also known as the Orange Spotted
Agama Lizard, is a strikingly beautiful reptile. Its
scientific name is Laudakia stellio picea. They are often
spotted in desert regions; and their coloring helps them to
blend in with the sand as camouflage against predators.
These are timid lizards and they will run and hide at the
site of any known predator or unknown creature. The males
tend to be more territorial and you will see them strike a
defensive posture and chase off some animals while shaking
their heads.

Black Agama lizards are diurnal and make their homes in
crevices in the ground or rocks. They eat a diet of insects
in the wild, but eating smaller lizards is not unheard of in
captivity. They are not known to be as aggressive as some
other types of lizards and will adapt to being handled after
a while.

The Black Agama will reach and average of 12 inches in
length at maturity. Although its name would indicate that
the lizard is black, it is not all black. They are also
known as Orange Spotted Agama Lizards, but in fact the
orange markings are more like horizontal stripes, patches
and bands more than spots. These markings show across their
backs, tails and even legs.

Their legs are very well defined and muscular which makes
them very good at climbing over rocks and debris. Their
scales are quite beautiful but more distinctive across their
legs than any other region. They have long, sharp claws,
spiny tails and a spine ridge going down the tops of their
backs. This Agama has a triangular head and a distinct neck.

The Black Agama Lizard in captivity will need an enclosure
at least three to four feet in length and at least a foot
wide. It will need to be kept at a specific temperature,
during the day (80 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and the night
(60 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit), so you will need to provide
full-spectrum florescent UV bulbs as well as a basking
light. Line the bottom of the tank or enclosure with sand
and rocks to simulate its natural habitat.

It will also need a basking perch, untipable bowl for water,
rocks for climbing, and a cave type home in its tank. The
cave and water should be set up on one side of the tank and
the basking area should be set up on the other so that the
temperatures are correct across the tank and the lizard can
regulate its body temperature by moving from one end to the

The basking area should be kept at 85 - 95 degrees
Fahrenheit. An under-tank heating pad at one end helps to
provide the appropriate temperature on that end of the tank.
When you are decorating the lizard's tank keep in mind that
you will have to clean the tank once a week to keep your
lizard healthy, and putting too much landscaping in the tank
will not help you with your task.

The water will need to be changed daily. Misting the tank or
enclosure once a day to provide proper humidity, usually in
the morning, is best. Most people, if they choose to house
their lizard in a glass terrarium, will use distilled water
in the misting sprayer to avoid spotting on the inside glass
when misting the tank.

Keeping a second tank with all the same apparatus is
preferred when cleaning the other tank. This way not only do
you have a backup should anything occur with any of the
other equipment but you also have someplace safe and
familiar to the lizard during cleaning periods.

Agamas are attractive and interesting lizards, and commonly
kept as pets. Things to keep in mind as you decide whether
this is the right lizard for you include the fact that
Agamas grow large and live fairly long, need live food and
primarily carnivorous, and can bite if provoked. If those
facts don't give you pause, you and your Black Agama Lizard
should be happy together.

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