Equipment for a Somali Painted Agama
Vivarium: VX36 min for two adults
Lighting: Komodo ceramic fitting, PT2193 Solar Glo basking & UV,
Heating: Komodo ceramic fitting, PT2144 Infra Red bulb 100w, Bulb Cage. Habistat Dimming Thermostat set at 25°C.
Decore: Caves, Hides, Rocks, Bog wood, Mopani wood. Medium Water dish.
Substrate: Play pen sand
Calcium and vitamins: Exo-Terra Calcium +D3. Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin Powder.
Many reptiles require a diet based on live or fresh foods, due to their specific feeding habits. These are readily available, but in themselves do not offer a balanced supply of nutrients. To ensure your pet receives a properly balanced diet, it is important to increase the nutrient content of these foods with a nutrient supplement.
Somali Painted or bush Agama (Laudakis stellio) Location: Somalia, Ethiopia, E/NE Kenya
Sexing: Sexing males and females is easy with this species; the males have a dark vertical line on the underside from the neck to vent. The females do not.
Temperature: Basking temperature of 35-36°C and a cooler end to 25°C. A night time drop to 23-25°C.
Lighting: I used to use the Fluorescent UV tubes but found that the lizards were not very active except at feeding time so I changed over to the Mercury vapour lamp and what a difference it made. They became much more active and started courtship displays of head bobbing and leg waving and in general a lot more active. Their colours were also greatly improved and much brighter.
Agamas are active during the day and are often found scampering around to snatch up their favourite foods. They can tolerate greater temperatures (35-40°C) than most reptiles, but in the afternoon when temperatures reach around 38°C (100°F) they will settle into the shade and wait for it to cool down. Frequent fighting breaks out between males; such fighting involves a lot of bobbing and weaving in an attempt to scare the opponent. If it comes to blows, they lash out with their tails and threaten each other with open jaws. Many older males have broken tails as a result of such fights. Females may sometimes chase and fight one another, while hatchlings mimic the adults in preparation for adulthood. It is best to keep trios of one male and two females. Agamas are mainly insectivores so feed them on Locusts, Cockroaches, Crickets as a treat Morio worms and Wax worms. Their incisor-like front teeth are designed for quick cutting and chewing of their prey. I offer them greens and chopped fruits should be offered once a week also.
Add Dust the insects in Calcium powder five times a week and vitamins twice a week. Tip the insects intoa plastic bag add a small amount of the calcium or vitamin powder and shake the bag gently this will coat the insects. Then slowly tip the insects into the vivarium leaving the excess powder in the bag which can be re used.
Most agamas are polygamous. Males may have a harem of six or more females in their territory for breeding. During courtship, the male bobs his head to impress the female. Occasionally, females initiate courtship by offering their hindquarters to the male and then running until he is able to catch up. The breeding season in the wild is typically March-May with eggs being laid in June-September during the season after the rains. Eggs are laid in clutches of up to twelve.
In captivity my Painted Agamas are seen courting with lots of head bobbing and flashing of the dewlap from the males. The females lay their eggs late December – March and hatch after 71 days at 31°.