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Yellow-throated Plated Lizard Questions

Discussion in 'Lizards - General' started by Karmataurus, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    Hello! I've had a male plated lizard for roughly a year or two, he has been doing fine but I have some questions.

    Mine is fed once every other day on mealworms or waxworms, roughly 10-20. He usually eats about a dozen or so, so I just put in a random amount a round that number. He spends most of his time sleeping under the bedding or finding a spot to bask, but he does move around and sit in his water occasionally.

    The reason I wanted to ask is I saw this video recently:

    This animal is the same species (and a male as well, it looks like), but I noticed he is much more aggressive with feeding and much, much more active. All of the plated lizards I have known are shy eaters, and don't eat much when they do. And they certainly are not this mobile. I am wondering if the setup for my plated might not be the best.

    He has a heat lamp on the left side of his tank, 150W. It is about a foot above the highest point in his tank that he can reach. The entire cage has a UV light, roughly 3-4 feet in length. I can take a picture of the set up right now.

    I am wondering if he might not be getting the warmth to give him the energy to be more active, or if they are not naturally as aggressive in hunting as the animal in the video I linked.
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, a few photos of the whole enclosure (including the top) with details of the conditions inside plus more info of the specific heat/light bulbs (and what you use to measure ambient and surface temps and humidity) will help.
  3. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    You could always try E-mailing the author of the video and ask him how he keeps his. A new video was posted on that channel just a few days ago so you could probably get a response.

    I'm almost certain they are a member here actually, and the author of the small lizard taming video we have pinned somewhere around here.
  4. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    I'll get a picture of the setup and details first thing in the morning, thanks for the help lads!
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

  6. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    Sorry I haven't replied with pics yet, been busy with personal stuff. Will try to send it in before the holidays.
  7. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    Well, figured I would now write my indepth detailed response of everything I have to say about this dude.

    He is a Yellow Throated/Yellow-Lined Plated Lizard, no less than 2 years of age. I have owned him for two years, and so far he has been quite healthy. He is 18 inches from snout to tip, although more than half of that is his tail.

    You cannot see from this picture (It will be clearer in the video), but his tail is abnormally shaped near the end. There is quite the story behind that. Supposedly, the petstore we purchased him from (Pet Supplies Plus) claims that because there are no breeders in the country, the shipment of plated lizards they received were wild caught. In all of their infinite wisdom, they decided to cut of the tails of all the male lizards to tell them apart (males sold for less). It has completely regrown, and he has no pain of it.


    This here is the terrarium itself. It's 40-50 gallon (I am honestly unsure exactly, we got him the tank a good while ago), with a heat lamp on one side, a UVB light on all sides, and a large water dish deep enough to soak in that is kept constantly full. For some reason this corner is dark in the image (It is completely illuminated normally), but there is some repticarpet in this corner to prevent him from kicking substrate into the water when he digs (he loves to dig). This is also where he feeds.

    I feed him anywhere from 10-20 mealworms every other day. I have tried a few other insects, with different results.

    Crickets were a horrible choice. While he occasionally did eat them (And give great chase as well, quite entertaining), he ate maybe 1/20 I put in, and I only put in 5 every time. So out of a weeks worth of crickets, eh eats about one. And to make matters worse, they multiplied and started eating his mealworms! Thankfully, they are gone.

    Next I tried waxworms. He enjoyed these just as much as mealworms, but he did not eat all of them, and they became moths. Unlike the beetles that mealworms become, he did not eat these moths.

    Lastly, I tried a super worm. While he ate it, I was worried that if I left them in the beetles they would become might endanger him.

    I have also fed him raw steak and raw venison. He ate the steak but did not particularly like it, and would not go near the venison. He has also made no attempt to eat the carrots I leave in there for the meal worms ocasionaly.


    Lastly, this is the heatlamp that I use. I actually switch between two seemingly identical brands, but this is the one I use the most as of late. It is his only heatsource, we tried a heating pad on the side of the tank and the bottom but it seemed to do more harm than good.

    Now then, onto behavior. He sleeps 75% of the day, and many days he never gets up. When he is up, he is either sitting in one spot dozing off or crazily rushing about, trying to jump on everything. He drinks about once a week, and when he does he only drinks for a few moments, daintly.

    He has a very strange handling tempermanet. I have never been bitten, but he goes between states of being completely still to climbing all around and trying to jump off.

    I have only managed to hand feed him once long ago, he is completely uninterested in food when he is outside of the cage.

    So what can I do to get him more active and more voracious in feeding?
  8. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What are the temperatures in the cage? I see no thermometer. The behaviors you are describing sounds like it may not be warm enough.
  10. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    So apparently it is only 82 in there, not sure how that is even possible. 150w basking light 15 inches above the cage, and the lizard is warm to the touch when under it.

    Regardless, is there any way to increase the temperature without getting a second heat lamp? I feel that might make it too hot.
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    How are you measuring the temperature? Type of device? Not all are accurate!
  12. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    I am using one of the zilla stick-on temperature gauges. Not the best obviously but all that the pet store had. I will try to get a better one soon.
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again, the stick-on analogue gauges are useless, they measure the temp of the glass not the air. You need a decent digital hygrometer and a Temp-gun to accurately measure ambient (air) and surface temps, you also need to measure the humidity range. It`s URGENT you get them, they aren't expensive or difficult to find.
    I looks as if there`s a screen top, that will make stabilising the conditions very difficult, best to cover it as completely as possible (you can use kitchen foil for a quick fix), obviously the temps will rise to some degree if that`s done making it even more important that you take accurate readings.
    Hopefully no serious damage has been done health wise.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    agreed. Those things are awful! So you really have no idea what the exact temperatures are. Go to the hardware store and get a good digital with a remote probe. Accurite is a well known brand.
  15. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member


    Ignore the scrub with the phone in the background ;D

    Just got him a longer cage and a way to get closer to his lamp, he absolutely loves the hammock. I was wondering guys, is this enough or should I put two 150w lights on there?
  16. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    Bumping because the temperature seemingly has not changed, thinking about putting in two 150 w bulbs
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    First thing you need to do is get you a decent thermometer and get rid of that dial. Until then you really don't know what the temperature is. Unless the room itself is very cool a single 150 watt lamp should be over doing it.

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