Scientific name

Uromastyx aegyptica microelepis

Locally known as


IUCN status



Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizards are large diurnal (active during the day) lizards that live in areas with sandy but compacted soils where they can dig burrows. They are mainly herbivorous feeding on a variety of plant species and usually live in colonial burrows.

Key threats

This species is threatened by developmental activities and competition for grazing.

Where they're found today

Sudan and Egypt, through Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, and into the Arabian Peninsula.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts

This is one of the key species monitored by EAD during assessment and monitoring surveys. EAD has been running a UAE-wide programme to determine the genetic status of dhub populations within the UAE. This will help manage populations in developmental projects.

Fun facts

  1. They are capable of changing their colour with change in their body temperature, turning from black to white or yellow as they warm up.
  2. If cornered, they can give painful blows with their spiny tail.
  3. Despite their formidable appearance, they are a very placid animal. They prefer to flee rather than enter into conflict
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