Yellow-throated plated lizards are alert, medium-sized, slender plated lizards. They have strongly keeled scales with a pair of black and yellow lateral stripes on their dorsum. They have a rust to brown base color and are flanked with red, yellow and black bars or speckling. Their underside is white, cream, yellow or pale blue. They grow to up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) long but are rarely thicker than 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) in circumference. They can live in excess of 12 years.
Yellow-throated plated lizards are terrestrial, diurnal and sun-loving. They inhabit dry open places such as savannas, grasslands, coastal bush and woodland. They also like rocky grassland and steppes. They are native to East Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zaire, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. They often inhabit holes, termite mounds, rock and wood piles, and in decaying logs or tree stumps.
Due to their relatively large size, yellow-throated plated lizards require a fairly large enclosure. Enclosures should be horizontally oriented and at least as long at the animal, with the general rule, the bigger the better. They are fossorial and should be provided with a substrate that allows digging and burrowing, such as sterile potting soil mixed with play sand, orchid bark and/or coconut bedding. Flat rocks and logs should be included to provide hiding and basking spots. Although they are predominantly ground dwellers, they will appreciate a few branches that allow them to perch a few inches off the ground. These lizards like to bask and require a basking spot with a surface temperature of at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with a thermal gradient that allows for a 10-15 degree drop. Nighttime temperatures should remain in the upper 70s. As diurnal lizards, they also need UV lighting and should be provided with 8-10 hours of UV exposure. Yellow-throated plated lizards also occasionally like to swim and should be provided with a large water bowl with 1.5-2 inches (3-5 centimeters) of water that allows easy entrance and exit.
Yellow-throated plated lizards are omnivorous and eat fruit and vegetable matter as well as a variety of insects, including termites, crickets, mealworms, millipedes and roaches and will also eat worms. They also seem to have a particular fondness for flies. Larger individuals will eat small rodents, but they should not be offered more than once every 10 days to two weeks. As with all reptiles and amphibians, a varied diet is essential to the lizardís health.