Purchasing uromastyx for the first time and setting up its habitat shouldn’t cost you a fortune. They’re quite cheap to keep as pets compared to other kinds of reptiles.
As a first-time keeper, you should expect to spend between 100-1000 USD to purchase any uromastyx species of your choice.
Aside from its unit cost, setting up its habitat for the first time is another cost you’ll incur to keep uromastyx. This might cost you some hundreds of dollars.
On average, to set up a new uromastyx habitat will cost you about 500 USD. Keeping uromastyx as pets doesn’t end in giving it a nice home. You’ll need to feed it daily or a few days a week, depending on your lizard’s age.
You’ll also need to visit the vet if the need arises. In all, it takes determination and your knowledge of what you’re in for to keep an exotic pet successfully.
That is why you need to read this article to the end to find out what cost you should anticipate for keeping a pet uromastyx.
That said, let’s delve into the detailed cost of purchasing each uromastyx species and the total cost of keeping a healthy uromastyx.
How Much Do Uromastyx Cost At Pet Stores?
Uromastyx are sold for different amounts at various pet stores. The exact amount you’ll finally pay for your lizard will depend largely on the species, its availability in the market, and the pet store or breeder.
Some breeders or pet stores may sell their lizards higher in price than the others. Similarly, you’ll get some species much cheaper than the others. The fact is, the more colorful a uromastyx species is, the higher the price.
A better way to understand this is that the more beautiful it is, the higher the demand for that species. When demand is high on a particular uromastyx species, the price will inflate.
I believe this applies to every other commodity and aspect of life other than uromastyx. Although many uromastyx species have been identified in recent times, this article will cover the popular ones and the most sought-after species.
This species of uromastyx is native to Egypt, Western parts of Saudi Arabia, Sinai, and Israel. It has a unique color range of yellow, red, green, and turquoise. Because of its unique colors, it is sold for 349.99 USD.
Found in North Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, and Ethiopia are the colorful uromastyx ocellata. Lines of brick red and olive green make up their main body colors.
Because of their unique body colors and small size, they’re one of the most popular kept as pets. They are sold for 199.99 USD.
Thomasi Price (Omani uromastyx)
Thomasi or Omani uromastyx is native to South Eastern Arabia. They are small in size and can only grow to 23-26cm as adults. They have long bodies but short and rounded tails and short spines.
Their colors range from blue, green, brown, golden, to cream and grey with some stripes on the head. They also have an orange color line running along their backs.
Generally, Omani is lightly colored, but the intensity of the colors will differ with individual snakes. This species of uromastyx is sold for 999.99 USD.
Yemeni Price (Yemenensis)
Uromastyx yemennensis is often mistaken for uromastyx benti. They are of the same family but differ in appearance and genetics. Yemeni uromastyx is a rare uromastyx species native to Yemen, South coast of Arabia.
They’re also called rainbow uromastyx because of their multiple beautiful coloration. Their body colors range from yellow, blue, grey, pink to brown with rows of white lines on the back. You can get this species for 149.99 USD.
Uromastyx shobraki are also from Yemen. But this species is a bit longer and larger than the Yemenensis species. They measure up to 39cm as adults. They also have body colors and patterns similar to Yemenensis species. They are sold for 150 USD.
Dispar Maliensis Price (Mali)
With good care, mali uromastyx can grow to 40cm (16 inches). Mali uromastyx are also more colorful as they get older. Babies range in colors from brown to yellowish gray.
As they get older, they become more colorful on their tails and back. This species goes for 99.99 USD.
This is another large species of uromastyx. They measure up to 50 cm as adults. They’re native to Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. With age, flavifasciata uromastyx develop some on their backs, which is why they’re called banded uromastyx.
Adult flavifasciata range in colors from white, black, orange, or yellow. But when they’re much younger, they are yellowish-gray in color. Flavifasciata are sold for 99.99 USD.
This species of uromastyx are often called Moroccan uromastyx. They are so-called because they’re from Morocco and some parts of Algeria. While still babies and juveniles, they have a plane body color of tan or brown.
As they grow older, they develop more desiring body colors such as yellow and red with some patterns on their back. Going by physical appearance, the males and females of Moroccan uromastyx are difficult to differentiate because they look the same. They’re sold for 149.99 USD.
Acanthinura is similar to Moroccan uromastyx, but they don’t have any green, red, or light yellow as adults. Acanthinura uromastyx are native to Tunisia, Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, and Libya. Acanthinura is sold for199.99 USD.
Geyri uromastyx are small size Uros (14 cm in maximum). They’re from Nigeria, Niger, and Mali.
Male geyri uromastyx are more brightly colored than females. You’ll see them in pet stores from 79.99-89.99 USD.
The Alfredschmidti uromastyx are from Southeastern Algeria and Southwest of Libya. Genetically, they’re similar to uromastyx Geyri. The only difference is that Alfredschmidti has larger pores on the sides of their bodies, between the hips and belly.
They also become darker in coloration as they grow. They are sold for 90 USD.
Egyptian uromastyx are predominantly in Egypt and also some parts of Palestine, Israel, and Libya. They are not only large but weigh heavier (between 1.5-1.8kg) than other uromastyx species.
Because of their heavy size, they’re more terrestrial than other species. This means that they would need more floor space in captivity. They range in color from yellowish gray to brown. They’re sold for 349.99 USD.
Leptieni uromastyx are similar to Egyptian uros, only that they’re from Oman and UAE. They are not as common as other species, hence you would hardly see them in captivity. Since they are rarely kept in captivity, their prices aren’t known.
Arabian species of uromastyx are also rare to find in captivity. They are native to UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and Yemen. While still babies, they’re yellow in color with some stripes.
As adults, they’re all creamy, tannish, brownish, or yellow with no stripes. How much these species are sold isn’t known as they’re not common.
These species are the smallest of uromastyx species. They only grow to 9 inches long. They’re native to Somalia.
Hatchlings are beige in color but they become blue or turquoise with some yellow patterns on the belly and back with age. This uromastyx species isn’t presently listed for sale in any pet store.
This uromastyx species is believed not to be available as pets. They’re native to the Western Sahara desert.
Princeps are another rare to find uros species. They start with yellowish-gray colors and become more yellowish or bluish with age.
They’re slightly different from thomasi in their lack of pre-anal and femoral pores and large spikes in their tails. The cost of this species is unknown but will be in the range of other species.
This is another kind of Arabian uromastyx. They are similar to ormata species but not as big as ornates. Their colors range from blue, green to red. They’re sold for 299.99 USD.
Cost For Uromastyx Accessories
Like I said earlier, before you even go ahead to buy a uromastyx, make sure that its home is already set up. Purchasing a pet animal before preparing its home isn’t an ideal way to go with reptiles.
The stress from relocating and having to spend hours or days outside before its home is made might cause serious health problems if not death.
To set up its habitat, you’ll need:
- A sizable enclosure.
- Heating and lighting (UVB) bulbs.
- A feeding dish.
- Some branches or medium-sized rocks for climbing.
- Basking stone (this is optional because your hides can serve this purpose).
- Thermostat, and hygrometer.
Enclosure, Cage, Or Tank
The cost of your enclosure will depend on the size you want. If you’re planning on getting a baby uromastyx or a hatchling, a 30 size gallon will suffice. This will cost you between 15-100 USD.
Note that, once your lizard gets older and larger, you’ll need to get it a bigger size enclosure where there’ll be enough space for it to run around.
Heat Bulbs Or Underground Heat Pads
One of the fascinating facts about uromastyx is that they’re very hardy lizards. Being desert-dwelling lizards, they have high tolerance for intense heat.
What this means in captivity is that your pet uromastyx will need quality heating lamps that can provide heat up to 115° F. To serve this purpose, an iPower Reptile Heat Pad is your best bet. This heating bulb is sold for 13.99 USD.
To keep the cage temperature under control, you need to include a thermometer in the cage. This device will let you know if you’re providing your lizard the right temperature or not.
This device is very important and a must-have in your lizard’s cage. The reason is because many illnesses in pet uromastyx are from wrong heating and lighting.
You should be able to provide accurate basking spot temperature, ambient temperature, and the temperature on the cool side.
For any heating device that comes with its built-in thermostat, you may not need an additional thermometer, except the built-in thermostat isn’t providing accurate readings.
An effective thermometer that’ll provide accurate readings will cost between 8-15 USD.
UVB Light Bulbs
Besides having high tolerance for intense heat, uromastyx are diurnal lizards that enjoy basking in direct sunlight. This is where they get their UVB from for vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium absorption.
A powerful lighting (UVB) bulb that would serve this purpose will cost you around 11.64 USD. Note that these prices may vary with product brands.
Another accessory you would need is the substrates. When it comes to the best substrates, there are many things you can use as substrates. The best option is always the mixture of two or three types of substrates in different areas of the enclosure.
Note that loose-particle substrates aren’t ideal for pet uromastyx, especially hatchlings and babies. For younger uros, you can use paper towels, newspaper, or ceramic tiles.
Read up for the best substrate for uromastyx. To give your pet uromastyx the best substrate, it’ll cost you between 10-21 USD.
Hides (at least two. One on each end of the tank)
To make hides for your lizard’s enclosure is quite simple. If you choose to use a mixture of washed play sand and clay for its substrates, you can mold in hides at different places as you desire.
Used cans or boxes also make good hides for pet lizards. For this accessory, you can go completely home-made without spending a dime.
However, to purchase at least two hides for your lizard would cost between 6-13 USD. Note: – whatever hides you choose to use, the lizard must fit in perfectly.
Rocks Or Logs Or Branches
Branches for pet uromastyx is an optional accessory. In the wild, what they climb on often are rocks. Thus, to provide a habitat that simulates the wild, you need some medium-sized rocks in its enclosure.
Besides serving climbing purposes, the rocks help retain heat in the enclosure much that your lizard needs. Some quality rocks are sold in pet stores for 14 USD.
Avoid using locally sourced rocks to prevent contaminating your lizard with infections and parasites. These are the basic requirements to set up a standard uromastyx enclosure. In total, to set up its habitat would cost you between 65-176 USD.
Cost For Uromastyx Food
In caring for your uromastyx, feeding it for as long as it lives is a recurring cost. You’ll need to restock its food every two weeks or every month.
But to minimize this cost, you can grow some of its staple vegetables and greens in your home and only buy the ones you need to.
Uromastyx are strictly herbivores, which means they consume more fibrous plants and vegetables in the wild. In captivity, their diet comprises leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and occasionally seeds, flowers, and insects.
Refer to this feeding chart for a detailed feeding plan on what to feed, how much, and what not to feed your uromastyx.
Younger uromastyx eats every day with vegetables and greens making up their staple food. As they get older, they’re to be fed 4-6 days in a week or fewer. With this, you’re likely going to spend between 10-30 USD for its vegetables and greens in a month.
Occasional seeds such as beans and lentils (this should only be given once in a while) will cost you between 10-15 USD. This is once a year expenditure because the seeds and lentils can be preserved for longer periods.
Your uromastyx would also be needing supplemental vitamins and minerals. This too is a once-a-year cost. It’ll cost you 20 USD to buy a calcium supplement with vitamin D3.
Cost For Uromastyx Healthcare
Uromastyx are hardy lizards, which means they wouldn’t get infected with parasites, bacteria, and viruses if their habitat is kept to standard. This is because their enclosure will be too hot to allow room for any bacteria and virus/parasites to thrive.
However, when this happens, it simply means that your husbandry is faulty. Most uromastyx that are taken to the vet are usually reported to have respiratory infection and impaction.
Respiratory infection as a result of high humidity levels and impaction caused by indigestion of some food particles, dehydration, or ingesting its substrate along with its food.
As stated earlier, any of these illnesses are caused by poor husbandry. Should your pet uros have any need to see the vet, the medical cost will vary depending on who your vet is and the severity of the illness.
This can cost you some hundreds of dollars to a thousand dollars or even more.
Besides the costs mentioned above, other costs you would incur for keeping uromastyx include the cost of breeding and expansion. These are completely optional costs. You can decide to keep your uromastyx without breeding it or acquiring new ones.
Breeding any pet animal or buying new ones to join the existing pets implies expanding your flock of pets. And this translates to more responsibilities and higher maintenance costs.
Therefore, it’s best to analyze the potential cost of breeding and caring for hatchings numbering up to 10 before deciding to breed your pets. If you choose to breed, you’ll need an incubator to incubate the eggs your gravid female will lay.
To get an incubator if you don’t already have one will cost you between 10-73 USD. You’ll also need new enclosures, substrates, and all cage accessories for the hatchlings.
There might not be a significant difference in feeding cost, but you’ll still spend higher since you’re feeding many uromastyx the same kinds of food. Once your eggs hatch, hatchlings are cared for in slight ways.
These include its types of substrates, food type, and feeding schedules. Refer to our breeding manual for detailed information.
It’ll be misleading to give the exact amount it’ll cost you to buy each uromastyx species and maintain it for at least a year. Knowing what kind of cost to expect after its purchase and the average amount you would spend is important to get started with your care.
All the different kinds of costs discussed in this article are inevitable except breeding. You’ve got to decide that you want to breed your lizard; hence, you should get prepared for the extra costs.
Some other costs like feeding and a few cage accessories are recurring costs. You’ll need to restock its food every week, two weeks, or months depending on when you run out of food.
For effectiveness, its heating and lighting bulbs are to be replaced every six months whether it’s still functioning or not.
As your lizard gets older and bigger, its hides and entire enclosure may have to be replaced. This will be necessary if the sizes of the hides and enclosure no longer fit for your lizard.
Its substrates, aside from cleaning out poops and refilling it regularly, will have to be changed at least every month or quarterly.
In the end, everything will amount to about 350 USD. This doesn’t include an average of 20 USD for food every other month and 60-80 USD for heating/lighting bulbs every half a year.
Assuming you buy your choice uromastyx species for 400 USD, that will put everything at 750 USD.