UROMASTYX (SPINY TAILED LIZARD)
HABITAT AND RANGE
Uromastyx are found throughout Africa and the Middle East, even into parts of Southern Asia. They are extreme thermophyles, meaning they prefer extremely high temperatures and lots of light. However they do need a few months of wintering, which is when the temperature is lowered slightly, in order to stimulate their environment and allow for natural feeding and social behaviors to regulate.
Coloration of Uromastyx can range from yellow through orange and brown, which continue to develop into adulthood. Both the male and female of this species look alike without any visible differentiation. The Uromastyx can grow up to 14 inches long and spends much of its time hiding.
Uromastyxs are primarily herbivores but will eat small grubs, mealworms, and insects along with their usual diet of vegetables and seeds.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
Uromastyx take several years to reach sexual maturity and will only breed after a period of wintering. Female Uromastyx lay between 12 and 20 eggs after 4-6 weeks of gestation. The eggs need to be kept between 88-90 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure healthy young which hatch between 70-80 days of incubation. They are estimated to be able to live up to 35 years in captivity.
When pursued by a predator they often scurry into a hiding space while leaving their spiky tail outside of their spot to act as a deterrent, which can be thrashed about to scare a predator. They are considered to be an Endangered due to human poaching and hunting, mostly by Bedouin tribes and for the pet trade.