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Spiny-tailed lizard

Scientific Name:

The Spiny-tailed lizard also known as Uromastyx geyri is a small slender lizard with an average length of 34cm. They are known for their spiny tail and are found in Northern Africa. Spiny-tailed lizards belong to the agamidae family of lizards, which also includes bearded dragons.

Spiny-tailed lizards are mainly found in rocky outcrops and prefer semi desert habitats. Their colouring varies between a light beige to orange colour with spot patterning across their back to aid camouflage against the rocks and sand. They are also oviparous which means that they lay eggs. Once mating has occurred, the female will lay her eggs in a burrow underground where they stay cool and are protected. The eggs incubate here for 8-10 weeks before hatching. The hatchlings remain in the burrow for the first few weeks of life until they are large enough to go on to find their own burrow.

In the wild, these lizards will eat a diet of vegetation, leaves and occasionally, small insects. Their lifespan is between 20-25 years.

The Spiny-tailed lizard has not been globally assessed but is classed as a near threatened species due to habitat loss and the impact of the trade in exotic pets.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation status: Near threatened on the IUCN Mediterranean red list.
  • Distribution: Southern Algeria, north-eastern Mali and northern-central Niger
  • Habitat: Semi desert
  • Diet: Vegetation
  • Length- 34cm
  • No of young: 8-20 eggs
  • Life span: 20-25 years

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