General Characters of Uromastyx

Introduction: The Uromastyx is a genus of African and Asian agamid lizards. These are commonly called spiny-tailed lizards, uromastyces, mastigure, or dab lizards.

Lizards of genus Uromastyx are primarily herbivorous, but occasionally they eat insects, especially young lizards. They are mostly found in hilly, rocky areas with good shelter and accessible vegetation.

General Characters and Scientific classification of Uromastyx

General Characters and Scientific classification of Uromastyx

Table of Contents

Scientific classification of Uromastyx:

Distribution of Uromastyx: Most of Northeast Africa, the Middle East, as Iran. Uromastyx occurs at an elevation from sea level to 900m (3,000 ft).

Diet and nutrition in Uromastyx:

Uromastyx acquires most of the water they need from the vegetation they ingest, while the wild ones generally eat any surrounding vegetation.

  • During hatching, the baby Uromastyx eat their own mother’s feces as their first meal, after that they find more food sources.
  • Captive uromastyxs’ diets are largely herbivorous.
  • They can consume de-thorned cacti with their powerful jaws, especially if they need water. The lizards’ food can be dusted with calcium and a uromastyx designed supplement to help prevent health problems.
  • In the wild, adult Mali eat insects at certain times of the year, when it is hot and their only food source available would be insects.

Reproduction in Uromastyx:

The female of Uromastyx can lay eggs anywhere. The number of eggs ranges from 5 to 40 eggs. The time period of laid eggs is approximately 30 days. The incubation time is 70-80 days.

  • Wild female uromastyx are smaller and less colorful than males. For example, U. (dispar) maliensis females are often light tan with black dorsal spots, while males are mostly bright yellow with mottled black markings.

Captivity in Uromastyx:

Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyxa egypta)

Due to a lack of understanding of their dietary and environmental needs the Uromastyx had poor survival rate.

  • The Mali Uromastyx (Uromastyx (dispar) maliensis) is considered an ideal species to choose as a pet because they readily adapt to a captive environment.
  • Another species of Uromastyx that adapts to captivity well, and comes in “red” and “yellow”, is Uromastyxgeyri, commonly called the Saharan Uromastyx.
  • The red version is marketed as a red Niger Uromastyx but the yellow version is marketed as a yellow Niger Uromastyx.
  • Though the lizards bask at very high temperatures, there must be a temperature gradient within the enclosure allowing them to cool off away from the heat lamps
  • The temporary slowing-down of their metabolisms also lengthens the animals’ lifespans.
  • Uromastyx is burrowing lizards, and need substrate deep enough to burrow in, or a low structure under which to hide. In the wild, these lizards’ burrows can reach 3 m (10 ft.) in Length.

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