Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard
Uromastyx aegyptica microelepis
Species name: Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard
Scientific name: Uromastyx aegyptica microelepis
Locally known as: Dhub
Description: 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.
IUCN status: Vulnerable.
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.
- They are capable of changing their colour with change in their body temperature, turning from black to white or yellow as they warm up.
- If cornered, they can give painful blows with their spiny tail.
- Despite their formidable appearance, they are a very placid animal. They prefer to flee rather than enter into conflict.