The Iguanids

Oplurus spp.

Oplurus cyclurus Family: Opluridae
Genus: Oplurus
Range: Madagascar

These Madagascan swifts are not commonly seen in the pet trade. Oplurus species are mostly ground-dwellers which live in dry, rocky areas of Madagascar. The exception is O. cyclurus which live in forested regions. Dorso-ventrally flattened bodies which reach 20 cm in total length. Their tails, which are 1-1.5 times the length of their bodies, have strongly keeled scales. Markings vary, with colors ranging from light grays to dark browns, with either spots or bands.

To keep in captivity, provide a temperature gradient ranging from 25-35 degrees celcius during the day, dropping to 25 degrees celcius at night. Heat is best provided by an incandescent basking light at one end of the cage. At night, heat may be provided by an under-tank heater (UTH) or a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). Oplurus species are insectivores, so provide a variety of powdered and/or gut-loaded insects. (As with all insectivorous species, try to offer more than simply crickets and mealworms, and never offer mealworms as the main portion of the diet.) Exposure to natural sunlight and/or artificial ultraviolet radiation is beneficial.

Oplurus species are egg-layers. I have no data on clutch size, frequency, incubation temperature or length at this time. All other iguanid species demand incubation temperatures ranging from about 28-31 degrees celcius. In the smaller iguanid species, clutch size usually ranges from about 2-20, with 1-4 clutches per year.