Home - Taxonomy - Geography - Biodiversity - Literature - Purchase RepFocus Recent updates
Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: October 31st, 2023.

Taxonomy of the family Agamidae
Bibliography of the genus Uromastyx
Biodiversity of the family Agamidae


Western Spiny-tailed Agamas, Thorny-tailed Agamas, Mastigures, Dabb Lizards

Westliche Dornschwanzagamen, Westliche Dornschwänze

Vestlige Tornhaleagamer

1820 Uromastyx Merrem (type species: Stellio spinipes Daudin 1802)
1820 Uromastix Merrem [substitute name for Uromastyx Merrem 1820]
1822 Mastigura Fleming (type species: Stellio spinipes Daudin 1802; syn. Wermuth 1967)
1843 Centrocercus Fitzinger [not Centrocercus Swainson 1831 (Aves)] (type species: Uromastix griseus Cuvier 1827; syn. Wermuth 1967)
1885 Aporoscelis Boulenger (type species: Uromastix princeps O'Shaughnessy 1880; syn. Wermuth 1967)
Contents: 15 species, of which 5 (33.3%) are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previously included Saara (e.g., Wermuth 1967). Böhme (1982) and Moody (1983) separated the genera Uromastyx and Leiolepis from the family Agamidae and revalidated the family name Uromastycidae for that purpose. Borsuk-Bialynicka & Moody (1984) reduced this group to subfamily status within the Agamidae.
Lanza (1983) and Böhme (1997) pointed out that the gender of Uromastyx is feminine, thus changing many years’ traditional spelling of specific epithets (e.g., acanthinura vs. acanthinurus).
Distribution: N. Africa, Middle East.
Reported from: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt (incl. Sinai), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman (incl. Masirah), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen.

Uromastyx acanthinura

North African Spiny-tailed Agama, Black Spiny-tailed Agama, (Bell's Spiny-tailed Agama, Bell's Dabb Lizard, Dabb's Mastigure)

Nordafrikanische Dornschwanzagame, Veränderlicher Dornschwanzagame

Nordafrikansk Tornhaleagam

1825 Uromastyx acanthinurus Bell
1825 Uromastyx richii Gray [substitute name for Uromastyx acanthinurus Bell 1825] (Wermuth 1967)
1830 Uromastyx temporalis Valenciennes (Schleich, Kästle & Kabisch 1996)
1882 ? Uromastix capensis Fischer (Wermuth 1967)
1885 Uromastix mutabilis Fischer [substitute name for Uromastyx acanthinurus Bell 1825] (Wermuth 1967)
1913 Uromastix acanthinurus nigerrimus Hartert
1922 Uromastix acanthinurus werneri Müller
1927 Uromastix acanthinurus var. pluriscutata Fejérváry

Remarks: Previously included dispar, geyri and nigriventris. Mertens (1962) described a new subspecies (flavifasciatus) from Senegal, which was later (Böhme 1978) corrected to Mauritania, from where it is believed to have been introduced to Senegal. Gewalt (1977) recorded a specimen of acanthinurus from Cameroon, according to Böhme (1978) in fact a specimen of geyri, believed to have been introduced from Sahara by tourists and thus not to be regarded as part of the native Cameroon fauna. An unvouchered record from Sinai (Steindachner 1900) may have been based on an introduced dispar (Wilms & Böhme 2000).
Distribution: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.

Uromastyx acanthinura
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx aegyptia

Egyptian Spiny-tailed Agama

Ägyptischer Dornschwanz

Ægyptisk Tornhaleagam

1775 Lacerta aegyptia Forskål
Uromastix aegyptius Anderson 1896
1775 ? Lacerta harbai Forskål (Wermuth 1967)
1802 Stellio spinipes Daudin (Wermuth 1967)
Uromastyx spinipes Merrem 1820
Mastigura spinipes Fleming 1822
1874 Uromastix microlepis Blanford (Arnold 1986; Moody 1987)
Uromastyx aegyptius microlepis Mertens 1956
2000 Uromastyx leptieni Wilms & Böhme (Wilms, Böhme, Wagner, Lutzmann & Schmitz 2009)
Uromastyx aegyptia leptieni Wilms, Böhme, Wagner, Lutzmann & Schmitz 2009

Other common names:
aegyptia: Eastern Egyptian Spiny-tailed Agama
leptieni: Eastern Arabian Spiny-tailed Agama, (Leptien's Spiny-tailed Agama)
microlepis: Desert Spiny-tailed Agama, Small-grain Spiny-tailed Agama
Remarks: Includes three subspecies (aegyptia, leptieni, microlepis), previously regarded as separate species. Presence in Algeria and Libya needs confirmation (Schleich, Kästle & Kabisch 1996). There is no documented record of this species west of the Nile (Wilms & Böhme 2000).
Distribution: Bahrain, Egypt (incl. Sinai), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Uromastyx aegyptia
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx alfredschmidti

Tassili Spiny-tailed Agama, (Schmidt's Spiny-tailed Agama)

Schmidts Dornschwanzagame


2001 Uromastyx alfredschmidti Wilms & Böhme

Remarks: Reported localities in the Hoggar Mountain of Algeria are based on doubtful specimens. The species is known in Algeria only from localities closer to the Libyan border (Sindaco, Wilms & Venchi 2012).
Distribution: Algeria, Libya.

Uromastyx benti

South Arabian Spiny-tailed Agama, (Yemeni Spiny-tailed Agama, Bent's Spiny-tailed Agama)

Südarabische Dornschwanzagame, (Jemen-Dornschwanzagame)

Sydarabisk Tornhaleagam

1894 Aporoscelis benti Anderson
Uromastix benti Anderson 1896
Uromastyx ocellata benti Schätti & Gasperetti 1994
1899 Uromastix simonyi Steindachner (Wermuth 1967)

Remarks: Regarded as a synonym of ocellatus by Schätti & Gasperetti (1994), but as a valid species by Seufer, Kowalski, Prokoph & Zilger (1998), and Wilms & Böhme (2000).
Distribution: Oman, Yemen.

Uromastyx dispar

South Saharan Spiny-tailed Agama

Südsaharische Dornschwanzagame

Sydsaharisk Tornhaleagam

1827 Uromastyx dispar Heyden
Uromastyx acanthinurus dispar Mertens 1962
1962 Uromastyx acanthinurus flavifasciatus Mertens (Tamar, Metallinou, Wilms, Schmitz, Crochet, Geniez & Carranza 2017)
Uromastyx flavifasciata Mateo, Geniez, López-Jurado & Bons 1998
Uromastyx dispar flavifasciata Wilms & Böhme 2001
1998 Uromastyx flavifasciata obscura Mateo, Geniez, López-Jurado & Bons
1996 Uromastyx maliensis Joger & Lambert
Uromastyx dispar maliensis Wilms & Böhme 2001
2012 Uromastyx dispar hodhensis Trape & Trape in Trape, Trape & Chirio

Other common names:
dispar: Sudanese Spiny-tailed Agama
flavifasciata: Yellow-banded Spiny-tailed Agama, Banded Spiny-tailed Agama
hodhensis: Hodh Spiny-tailed Agama
maliensis: Malian Spiny-tailed Agama
Remarks: Revalidated as a separate species by Moody (1987). Recorded from Sudan at the border to Egypt, but not from Egypt. Marx' (1968) record from a locality near Cairo refer to aegyptia, and a specimen from Sinai was probably introduced. Another, unvouchered record from Sinai of acanthinura (Steindachner 1900) may also have been based on an introduced dispar (Wilms & Böhme 2000).
Introduced to: USA (Florida).
Distribution: Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Western Sahara.

Uromastyx dispar
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx geyri

Central Saharan Spiny-tailed Agama, (Geyr's Spiny-tailed Agama)

Zentralsaharische Dornschwanzagame, (Geyrs Dornschwanzagame)

Centralsaharisk Tornhaleagam

1854 ? Uromastyx temporalis Valenciennes (status uncertain; Wilms & Böhme 2001)
1922 Uromastix geyri Müller
Uromastyx acanthinurus geyri Mertens 1962

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of acanthinura (e.g., Wermuth 1967; Joger & Lambert 1996). Revalidated by Joger (1981). Gewalt (1977) recorded a specimen of acanthinurus from Cameroon, according to Böhme (1978) in fact a specimen of geyri, believed to have been introduced from Sahara by tourists and thus not to be regarded as part of the native Cameroon fauna.
Distribution: Algeria, Mali, Niger.

Uromastyx geyri
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx macfadyeni

Somali Spiny-tailed Agama, (Macfadyen's Spiny-tailed Agama)

Nordwestsomalische Dornschwanzagame, (Macfadyens Dornschwanzagame)

Nordvestsomalisk Tornhaleagam

1932 Uromastix macfadyeni Parker
Uromastyx ocellata macfadyeni Lanza 1990

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of ocellata (e.g., Lanza 1990; Schätti 1989) or as a synonym of same (Lanza 1990; Schätti & Gasperetti 1994). Not mentioned for Djibouti by Mazuch & Spawls (2019) or by Spawls, Mazuch & Mohammad (2023), although included for the country by several other works (e.g., Lanza 1990; Ineich 1999; Vernet 2000; Nistri & Vanni 2014).
Distribution: Djibouti, Somalia.

Uromastyx nigriventris

Moroccan Spiny-tailed Agama


Marokkansk Tornhaleagam

1912 Uromastix acanthinurus nigriventris Rothschild & Hartert
Uromastix nigriventris Wilms, Böhme, Wagner, Lutzmann & Schmitz 2009

Distribution: Algeria, Morocco.

Uromastyx nigriventris
© Henrik Bringsøe

Uromastyx occidentalis

Giant Spiny-tailed Agama, Western Giant Spiny-tailed Agama

Westsaharischer Dornschwanz

Vestsaharisk Tornhaleagam

1998 Uromastyx occidentalis Mateo, Geniez, López-Jurado & Bons

Distribution: Western Sahara.

Uromastyx ocellata

Ocellated Spiny-tailed Agama, Eyed Spiny-tailed Agama

Geschmückter Dornschwanz


1823 Uromastyx ocellatus Lichtenstein

Remarks: Reported to occur in Djibouti by some authors (Schätti 1989; Wilms & Böhme 2000; Wilms 2001; Wilms, Böhme, Wagner, Lutzmann & Schmitz 2009), but not listed for the country by Nistri & Vanni (2014).
Distribution: Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Israel, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen.

Uromastyx ocellata
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx ornata

Ornate Spiny-tailed Agama

Bunte Dornschwanzagame


1827 Uromastyx ornatus Heyden
Uromastyx ocellatus ornatus Arnold 1986
1938 Uromastyx philbyi Parker (Tamar, Metallinou, Wilms, Schmitz, Crochet, Geniez & Carranza 2017)
Uromastyx ocellatus philbyi Arnold 1986
Uromastyx ornatus philbyi Arnold 1987

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of ocellata (e.g., Arnold 1986) or as a synonym of same (e.g., Schätti & Gasperetti 1994).
Distribution: Egypt (Sinai), Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

Uromastyx ornata
© Rune Midtgaard

Uromastyx princeps

Armored Spiny-tailed Agama, Princely Spiny-tailed Agama

Nordostsomalische Dornschwanzagame, (Somalische Dornschwanzagame)

Nordøstsomalisk Tornhaleagam

1880 Uromastix princeps O'Shaughnessy
Aporoscelis princeps Boulenger 1885
1954 Uromastix princeps scorteccii Cherchi

Distribution: Somalia.

Uromastyx shobraki

Western Yemen Spiny-tailed Agama, (Shobrak's Spiny-tailed Agama)

Westjemenitische Dornschwanzagame, (Südarabische Dornschwanzagame)

Vestyemenitisk Tornhaleagam

2007 Uromastyx yemenensis shobraki Wilms & Schmitz
Uromastix shobraki Wilms, Böhme, Wagner, Lutzmann & Schmitz 2009

Distribution: Yemen.

Uromastyx thomasi

Oman Spiny-tailed Agama, Thomas' Spiny-tailed Agama


Omansk Tornhaleagam

1930 Uromastix thomasi Parker

Distribution: Oman (incl. Masirah).

Uromastyx yemenensis

Southern Yemen Spiny-tailed Agama, (South Arabian Spiny-tailed Agama)

Südjemenitische Dornschwanzagame, (Jemenitische Dornschwanzagame)

Sydyemenitisk Tornhaleagam

2007 Uromastyx yemenensis Wilms & Schmitz

Remarks: Previously included shobraki.
Distribution: Yemen.