Ground Agama (Agama aculeata)

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Ground Agama
Agama aculeata
Ground Agama (Agama aculeata)
Name Ground Agama
Name Lat. Agama aculeata
Family Agamas
Family lat. Agamidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin Africa
Habitat Savanna
Diet Insects, vegetables, fruits
Humidity 40-60 %
Behavior ♂ territorial
Keeping Individual, pair, harem
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Dry terrarium
Life Span 5 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 20 cm
Temperature 25-35 °C
Temperature Local 45 °C
Housing Size 120 x 60 x 80 cm
US Units
Size 7.9"
Temperature 77-95 °F
Temperature Local 113 °F
Housing Size 45" x 25" x 30"

Distribution and habitat

The distribution range of the ground-dwelling and diurnal red spiny dragons extends from Angola and Namibia to Tanzania and Mozambique. There they live in the dry savannahs and rocky deserts, often on small rock groups, which they use as vantage points.


Minimum dimensions for the terrarium, according to the size and number of animals

1-2 animals 5KRL x 3KRL x 4KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. A terrarium of L 120 x W 60 x H 80 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place

You will need a terrarium structured with roots, climbing branches and stone structures (hiding places and privacy screens), a substrate of sand-clay mixture and rubble, a small water container and potted plants (e.g. euphorbia, aloe, oleander). A small portion of the substrate should be kept moist at all times. Once a day, preferably in the evening, the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water

Temp. day: 25-35 °C Temp. night: 15-20 °C Temp. local: up to 45 °C Humidity: 40-60

The lighting duration must be 12-14 hrs. They require a high light intensity. Light sources that also produce the necessary heat are ideal. In addition, daily UV irradiation is essential.


The diet consists of insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, zophobas and mealybug larvae, alternatively special ready-made food for insectivores can be offered, as well as wild herbs, dandelion flowers, vegetables and some sweet fruit (fruit pulp). Wax moths should only be fed in small amounts to adults, but not to juveniles, because of their large fat content. It is important to add minerals and vitamins regularly (e.g. by dusting the feeders). Young animals should be offered food daily, adult animals 4-5 times a week. Drinking water must always be available

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

At sexual maturity, the dominant male shows off in its full color glory, with distinct preanal pores (enlarged row of scales arranged in front of the cloacal cleft)

The female buries her eggs (5-20 pieces) in the substrate, which accordingly must consist of a substrate suitable for burrowing. The incubation period is 45-80 days at a temperature of 26-30 °C. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young animals.

The life expectancy can be 5 years.


As cultural successors, they are adapted to various biotopes. They need a lot of exercise and are good climbers and jumpers. Adult males behave very territorial and are incompatible with each other

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be upgraded.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1997): Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF