Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Uromastyx

Synonym(s): Spiny-tailed lizard, Mastigure lizard, Dabb lizard, Uromastyces

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Kirsty Dewhurst

Introduction

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Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia. 
  • Phylum: Chordata. 
  • Class: Reptilia. 
  • Order: Squamata. 
  • Suborder: Iguania. 
  • Family: Agamidae.
  • Genus: Uromastyx
  • Species: multiple.

Distribution and habitat

  • Inhabit areas across Asia and Africa.
  • Mainly found in areas abundant in rocks or hills, providing them with plenty of shelter. That being said they also spend a considerable amount of time bathing in the sun.
  • As heat-loving creatures, when awake, they will bask in the sun if unthreatened. If they feel threatened, they will hide underground. 

Species status

  • Often eaten and sold by humans. 
  • No longer imported to other countries. 

Life span

  • Between 15-35 years in captivity. 

Diet

  • Mainly herbivorous. 
  • On the odd occasion, some species may be seen eating insects, this is usually the juveniles Lizard nutrition
  • In captivity: can be fed foods such as; dandelion greens, ground vegetables, bok choy, dried lentils and beans, and dark leafy greens and grasses.

Variations

  • At least 16 species of Uromastyx can be recognized.
  • Most common: 
    • Mali uromastyx (U. dispar). 
    • Saharan uromastyx (U. geyri). 
    • Ornate uro (U. ornata). 
    • Egyptian (U. aegyptia). 
    • Moroccan (U. acanthinura). 
    • Sudanese (U. ocellata).
    • Benti (U. yemenensis).
    • Banded (U. flavofasciata).

Breeding

  • Males show courting signs of head bobbing and chasing the female. 
  • Females can lay between 10-23 eggs at a time (depending on species and age), 4-6 weeks after mating. 
  • Incubation period is around 70-80 days. 

As pets

  • Can be kept as pets; most commonly kept captive species include the Mali uromastyx and the Saharan uromastyx. 
  • Generally, they all have a poor rate of survival, due to heavy requirements. 
  • No longer imported. 

Biological Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Reptiles Magazine (2018) Uromastyx Lizard. Website: www.reptilesmagazine.com. Last accessed 2nd March 2018.
  • Uromastyx Care (2018) Pet Mali Uromastyx Breeding and Babies. Website: uromastyxcare.com. Last accessed 2nd March 2018.
  • Moon Valley Reptiles (2012) Uromastyx Health. www.moonvalleyreptiles.com. Last accessed 2nd March 2018.
  • Pollock C (2012) Basic Information Sheet. Uromastyx (Uromastyx spp). Website: https://lafeber.com. Last accessed 25th July 2018.
  • Johnson J (2007) Spiny-tailed Lizard Pet Care. In: Unusual Pet Care Vol 2. 2nd edn. Eds: Kottwitz J & Coke R. Zoological Education Network Ltd, USA. pp 13-20.
  • Joger U & Böhme W (2006) Uromastyx alfredschmidti. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Website: http://dx.doi.org. Last accessed on 26th July 2018.
  • O'Shea M & Halliday T (2002) Reptiles & Amphibians. Dorling Kindersley Ltd, UK. pp 77.
  • Encyclopedia of Life. Uromastyx - Details Spiny-tailed Lizard. Website: http://eol.org. Last accessed 25th July 2018.

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