Scientific name: Gerrhosaurus major
Danish name: Sudan plate lizard
Lifespan: Supposed to live for decades under the right conditions.
Distribution: East and south-east Africa
Legislation: Not protected
Toxicity: Not toxic
A compactly built lizard with relatively short powerful limbs and tail. The body is covered with very short large roofed scales, which gives it a somewhat crocodile-like appearance. The head is triangular with a relatively short and plump snout. The Sudan plate lizard's pretty big dark eyes may well give it a much gentler appearance than it actually deserves. The colors can vary quite a bit, from dark to light brown, often with marked spots or lines. The underside is whitish. It will be around 50 cm.
The Sudan plate lizard lives in open areas such as savannah and the like. where it finds shelter in self-dug burrows or burrows of other rodents. The species is egg-laying and usually lays two very large, elongated eggs.
Keep in terrarium
It requires a fairly large terrarium, as it can get very large. A terrarium of around 120L x 60H x 60W can house two individuals. The terrarium should be furnished with a bottom layer of coarse sand or gravel, if necessary. mixed with potting soil. In addition, the terrarium must be provided with one or more hiding places in the form of caves, possibly in the form of large flat stones stacked staggered. It is important that such burrows are completely stable, so that the plate lizards cannot push it and thereby injure themselves. A rule of thumb when using large stones is that the lower one must always lie directly on the bottom surface of the terrarium, so that the animals do not have the opportunity to dig under them. Plate lizards are distinctly heat-demanding animals, so the temperature in the terrarium should be between 27-35 degrees, but with one or more heating areas in the form of spots possibly. combined with a heating plate, where the temperature can reach at least 50 degrees.
In nature, the Sudan plate lizard lives on a wide range of food, it can be animal food such as insects, snails, small rodents and other small lizards, but also to a large extent on various types of fruit and berries. This should of course also be offered to the animals in a terrarium, where you can very well expand the supply with different meats such as chicken giblets, minced beef and other, as well as sweet fruit such as banana, peach, grape, etc. Adult plate lizards should be fed 2-3 times a week, young ones every other day.
Calcium and vitamins must be added to the feed, preferably a broad-spectrum preparation. It is especially important that it contains vitamin D3, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium.
There should of course also be a bowl of fresh drinking water in the terrarium.
It is a relatively inactive species that can sit for hours and sunbathe in the same place. You can advantageously build one or more rock heaps, if necessary. with a spotlight above, where the plate lizards will enjoy sitting and basking while they sunbathe. The piles of stones can very well act as caves at the same time. Although it has a fairly calm demeanor, make no mistake during hunting and flight it is able to run reasonably fast. Care must be taken when handling, plate lizards have a very strong bite, which they also use to crush snail shells.
Signs of illness
Sudan plate lizards are fairly robust animals, but external signs of illness such as emaciation, which can be seen as a sharp back, root of the tail and especially sunken eyes can be signs of dehydration or even a serious disease in the internal organs. In that situation, you must contact a veterinarian.
The Sudan plate lizard, in addition to being quite beautiful and an impressive animal, is quite easy to look after and its requirements are not difficult to meet.