Range & Habitat
Uromastyx are found in the desert, inhabiting a range stretching through most of North Africa, the Middle East, and across south-central Asia and into India.
Like many reptiles, these lizards' colors change according to the temperature; during cool weather they appear dull and dark but the colors become lighter in warm weather, especially when basking; the darker pigmentation allows their skin to soak up more sunlight. Their spiked tail is muscular and heavy, and can be swung at an attacker with great velocity, usually accompanied by hissing and an open-mouthed display of (small) teeth. Uromastyx generally sleep in their burrows with their tails closest to the opening, in order to prevent intruders.
They spend most of their waking hours basking in the sun, hiding in underground chambers at daytime or when danger appears. They tend to establish themselves in hilly, rocky areas with good shelter and accessible vegetation.
A female Uromastyx can lay anywhere from 5 to 40 eggs, depending on age and species. Eggs are laid approximately 30 days following copulation with an incubation time of 70-80 days. Wild females are smaller and less colorful than males.
In the Wild: Although they primarily eat plants, they occasionally will eat insects. In the Zoo: the uromastyx eats a fruit and vegetable salad or greens salad.
IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. 2009, December.
Zipcodezoo.com. Zipcodezoo.com 2009, December.