Toothless – Uromastyx

Toothless is a male Black Niger Uromastyx lizard who was born in 2013. He is a very rare species of lizard and has joined our reptile education program as an ambassador of his species.

Uromastyx is a genus of lizard in the agamid family, the same family as the bearded dragon. The Uromastyx is commonly known as the spiny-tailed agamid, aptly named for the 10 to 30 rings of spiked scales covering its tail. The Uromastyx lizard comes in a variety of colors including brown, black, blue, green, yellow, red and combinations of colors like black with green or blue with yellow.

Uromastyx Trivia: To help conserve water, the Uromastyx has a special gland near the nose that excretes mineral salts.

There are several members of the Uromastyx family:

Uromastyx acanthinura – Bell’s dabb lizard
Uromastyx aegyptia – Egyptian mastigure
Uromastyx alfredschmidti – Schmidt’s mastigure
Uromastyx benti – Bent’s mastigure
Uromastyx dispar – Sudan mastigure
- Uromastyx (dispar) flavifasciata
- Uromastyx (dispar) maliensis – Mali uromastyx
Uromastyx geyri – Saharan spiny-tailed lizard
Uromastyx macfadyeni – Macfadyen’s mastigure
Uromastyx occidentalis – Giant spiny-tailed lizard
Uromastyx ocellata – Eyed dabb lizard
Uromastyx ornata – Ornate mastigure
Uromastyx princeps – Princely mastigure
Uromastyx thomasi – Oman spiny-tailed lizard
Uromastyx yemenensis – Yemen spiny-tailed lizard

These primarily herbivorous reptiles eat a variety of mixed greens including collard greens, bok choy and spring mix salad, as well as chopped vegetables like carrots, squash, broccoli and Brussel’s sprouts. Their diet also includes bird seed and occasionally crickets and mealworms.

Uromastyx lizards are active during daylight hours and require a well-lit enclosure with temperatures ranging between 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit with areas over 120 degrees for basking.
For protection, the Uromastyx will swing its muscular and heavily spiked tail at the threat, while hissing and displaying its teeth. It will generally sleep in burrows with its tail closest to the opening in order to prevent intruders.

The Uromastyx is a desert dwelling reptile inhabiting most of North Africa, the Middle East and south-central Asia to India.

Uromastyx Trivia: Uromastyx will often eat its own shed skin both to regain the nutrients used to create it, as well as to prevent alerting predators by leaving its skin nearby.

Uromastyx Statistics:

Body Length 10 – 36 inches short tail
Sheds Every 4 – 6 weeks females smaller
Incubation Period 70 – 80 days
Number of Eggs 5 – 40
Life Span 15 years on average, some exceeding 30 years