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.


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.