Sudan Plated Lizard Enclosure Size Requirements

Sudan plated lizard enclosure - sample
Contributed by Custom Reptile Habitats

In the wild, Sudan plated lizard enclosures don’t exist — instead, they traverse large territories on a daily basis in their hunt for food and mates. These territories are so large that to perfectly replicate one in captivity is quite unrealistic for 99% of reptile keepers. And unfortunately there is no one perfect formula for determining the “perfect” enclosure size for captive reptiles. However, we can look at established minimum enclosure size standards in countries where such standards are published, and then using ReptiFiles’ commitment to provide an above-average standard of captive reptile care, we can present a minimum enclosure size for this guide.

According to the Federation of British Herpetologists’ 2022 Code of Practice, lizards of the Gerrhosauridae group, including Broadleysaurus, should be housed in an enclosure 6x4x3 SVL. Given that Sudan plated lizards’ maximum SVL (snout to vent length) is approximately 24.5 cm / 10″ (Bates et al., 2013, p.475), this translates to a minimum enclosure size of 60″L x 40″W x 30″H / 147 x 98 x 74cm.

Unfortunately, standardizing the above recommendation in context of the current state of reptile husbandry in the United States is unrealistic at this time, given that larger lizards are frequently housed in smaller. For now, the ReptiFiles minimum recommendation for a Sudan plated lizard enclosure is 4’x2’x2’ / 120 x 60 x 60cm, or 8 ft² / 1.1 sq m of floor space.

The following commercially-available enclosures are suitable for meeting these minimum requirements:

As mentioned above, providing larger than the minimum is strongly recommended wherever possible. Most of these enclosure manufacturers also offer larger sizes.

As long as the enclosure is set up with appropriate hiding places and other environmental enrichment (see here), you can house a juvenile Sudan plated lizard in an adult-sized enclosure with no complications. Furthermore, Sudan plated lizards are particularly active as juveniles, so it’s very likely that yours will use all of the given space to run around, especially if you provide live food for it to chase!

Can multiple Sudan plated lizards be housed together?

No. Sudan plated lizards are fairly solitary animals in the wild, and forcing multiple individuals to live together in a relatively small space (even if you double the size of the enclosure) can create unnecessary stress and even fighting, which can lead to severe injury or even death. It is best not to take that risk, and if you want multiple plated lizards, house them separately.

Additionally I should mention here that it seems to be common practice in some places to cohabit Sudan plated lizards with other species, particularly bearded dragons. Yes, it is true that plated lizards are hardy and live in similar climates to other species. However, they don’t necessarily occupy the same habitat. It is in the best interest of the reptiles to keep each species separately so you can cater your husbandry to their specific needs.

sudan plated lizard enclosure - why cohabitation is a bad idea
Contributed by Syd Johnson

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Keep reading about Sudan plated lizard care:

  1. Introduction to Sudan Plated Lizards
  2. Shopping List
  3. Enclosure Size Requirements
  4. Lighting & UVB Requirements
  5. Heating & Temperature Requirements
  6. Humidity Requirements
  7. Choosing a Substrate
  8. Decorating the Enclosure
  9. Feeding Your Sudan Plated Lizard
  10. Handling and Taming Tips
  11. Common Illnesses and General Health Information
  12. Additional Resources