• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Genus: Uromastyx
  • Species: Uromastyx acanthinura


  • Uromastyx acanthinura occupies desert habitats, but specifically occupies rocky areas that can support its burrows.
  • In the desert, its most common habitats are rocky or semi-rocky sandy areas and, rarely, open sandy desert.
  • The burrows that this species builds are often beneath bushes or in high rocky cliffs.

Physical Description

  • North African spiny-tailed lizards attain a maximum total body length of 40 to 43 cm and an adult mass of 450 g.
  • These lizards have a dorsally flattened body and the tail, as the name would suggest, is large and covered with ringed spines.
  • Individuals may exhibit wide variation in color as the scales of adults are at times either a mottled red, orange, green, or yellow, though the basic color is gray.

Conservation Status

  • The international trade of Uromastyx acanthinura is currently regulated by CITIES and is listed with all other Uromastyx species in Appendix II.
  • Successful trade regulation is difficult to enforce as many can be sold through underground markets.
  • This species is often misidentified, therefore making regulation increasingly difficult.
  • Additional threats to this species includes agricultural grazing on plants that U. acanthinura commonly eats which creates competition for resources.
  • More important factors that threaten its survival tend to come from humans through the pet trade and trapping for food and medicine.
  • Road mortality is of great concern as the heat-absorbing roads are an attractive basking spot for these lizards.