Water is one of the most critical elements of life. That’s why people are so obsessed with finding it on other planets — where there’s water, there’s bound to be life. So even in environments that we think of as fairly dry and arid, water is required to sustain the life there, whether in bodies of water, in the air, in the soil, or in the food chain. As such, you need to consider Sudan plated lizard humidity needs as you set up your enclosure.
In the Sudan plated lizard’s natural habitat, there are two short wet seasons in between long dry seasons. According to data on ClimatesToTravel.com, these periods of rainfall typically occur between March-May and November-December. The first wet season in March is typically much heavier than the second wet season in November. The first wet season is also typically hot and humid, with daily afternoon showers.
Sudan plated lizards are native to areas that average 40-60% ambient (air) humidity, even in the dry season. In captivity, a range of 20-80% humidity seems to work well. These lizards need both dry areas of 20-40% humidity and moist areas of 50-80% humidity to thrive.
So how do you fulfill these unique Sudan plated lizard humidity requirements in your enclosure? Here’s some strategies to use:
- Use a large, shallow water dish big enough to fit the lizard’s entire body. Personally I quite like the Zoo Med Repti Ramp Bowl for this purpose.
- Use distilled water in a spray bottle like the Exo Terra Mister to wet down the enclosure once a week.
- Drill a notch into a thin PVC pipe, then insert it vertically in the substrate until the notch is touching the bottom of the enclosure. Trickle water through this pipe (about once a week or every other week, depending on how fast it dries) to create a layer of damp substrate at the bottom of the enclosure. The moisture will absorb upward through the substrate and help augment humidity, as well as make the substrate more burrowable. Make sure the bottom of your enclosure is sealed against moisture with Kennel Seal and 100% silicone sealant to prevent leaking.
- It’s also helpful to provide a humid hide. Line one of the hides/caves on the cool side of the enclosure with damp sphagnum moss, and replace this moss as needed – usually once a week or every other week. The plated lizard will use it as needed.
You can measure humidity levels with a digital hygrometer, with the probe placed on the cool end of the enclosure (that’s where humidity will naturally be highest). I prefer to use a combined digital thermometer and hygrometer like the Zoo Med Thermometer Humidity Gauge for this purpose. To identify exact relative humidity anywhere in the enclosure, it’s better to use a handheld digital hygrometer like the Mengshen Humidity Meter, which operates pretty much like a temp gun.
Note that your Sudan plated lizard may poo in their water dish regularly. This is a normal behavior. When this happens, immediately clean the bowl with a disinfectant like F10SC or chlorhexidine and replace with fresh water. For more information on drinking water for rough-scaled plated lizards, read the section of this guide on Feeding Your Plated Lizard.
- Introduction to Sudan Plated Lizards
- Shopping List
- Enclosure Size Requirements
- Enclosure: Lighting & UVB Requirements
- Enclosure: Heating & Temperature Requirements
- Enclosure: Humidity Requirements
- Enclosure: Choosing a Substrate
- Decorating the Enclosure
- Feeding Your Sudan Plated Lizard
- Handling and Taming Tips
- Common Illnesses and General Health Information
- Additional Resources