7 Oct 2020

Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard - Mahazat as-Sayd Protected

These Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizards were found in Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area and had made their burrows in a rough sandy gravel area. This is one of the best locations in the Kingdom to see the lizards as the area is fully fenced and protected. The Lizards are a blue colour if not warmed up properly otherwise they reach a bright yellow colour. Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx spp.) is a medium to large sized, heavily built lizard with a spiny club like tail, which has been likened to a small living dinosaur. They are ground dwelling and live in some of the most arid regions of the planet including northern Africa, the Middle East, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India. The generic name (Uromastyx) is derived from the Ancient Greek words ourá (οὐρά) meaning "tail" and mastigo (Μαστίχα) meaning "whip" or "scourge", after the thick-spiked tail characteristic of the species. The Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis is most common in Saudi Arabia and is the one that occurs in the Eastern Province and is generally regarded as a subspecies of the Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx aegyptia. It is locally known to the Arabs as 'Dhub' (Arabic:'‫ضب'). The main diagnostic character of the genus is the highly specialised tooth-like bony structure replacing the incisor teeth in the upper jaw in adults. The Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard can be distinguished from Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx aegyptia aegyptia by lacking enlarged tubercular scales scattered over the scalation of the flanks, having 149193 (mean 171.8) ventral scales rather than 126 – 158 (mean 142). Other features include a smaller scale size and more colourful yellow or greenish colour when warmed-up in adult specimens of Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard. It is distinguished from Uromastyx leptieni by a different juvenile colour pattern and a higher number of ventrals.
Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard

Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard

Arabian Spiny-tailed Lizard

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