Ornate spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx ornata)
The ornate spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx ornata) is a medium-sized lizard with short, powerful legs and a large, bulky body. Like other Uromastyx species, the ornate spiny-tailed lizard has rows of spiky scales on the tail, arranged in distinct rings or ‘whorls’. The tail is broad and lies flat against the ground. The ornate spiny-tailed lizard has a longer tail than other closely related species from the genus Uromastyx.
This species varies greatly in colour, both within and between the sexes, as well as with age. The male ornate spiny-tailed lizard is strikingly coloured, being predominantly blue, green or red, with an irregular reddish-brown, net-like pattern on the back. There are also yellow spots and sometimes yellow cross-bands on the back, and dark patterning on the belly.
The female ornate spiny-tailed lizard is much duller than the male, being pale brown with dark brown spots, or sometimes light yellow or red spots. The underside of the female’s body is pale yellowish or white, and lacks any patterning. Juvenile ornate spiny-tailed lizards are cream or pale brown with a black stripe pattern .
The ornate spiny-tailed lizard is split into two subspecies, Uromastyx ornata ornata and Uromastyx ornata philbyi.
Also known asornate dabb lizard, ornate mastigure. SynonymsUromastyx ocellata ornata, Uromastyx ocellatus ornatus, Uromastyx ornatus, Uromastyx philbyi.
SizeTotal length: up to 40 cm
Snout-vent length: up to 20.5 cm
Weightup to 300 g.