Ornate Uromastyx


Ornate Uromastyx

Place of Birth:

MIDDLE EAST: The Ornate Uromastyx is native Southern Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Eating Habits:

Uromastyx lizards are predominantly herbivors. They are opportunistic feeders and eat leaves, stems, shoots, fruit, flowers and buds of native plants. They will eat insects at certain times of the year when plant matter is limited. They acquire most of the water they need from the vegetation they ingest.

Quick Facts:

Scientific  Name Uromastyx ornata
Size The Ornate Uromastyx will reach up to 14″ in total length and weigh approximately 1/2 pound.
Color The most colorful of the uromastyx lizards. Males take on gorgeous blues and greens when mature. Females are less colorful.
Lifespan Reaches maturity in 2-4 years and can live up to 20 years in the wild and 30 years in captivity.
Eco Status Least Concern – Neither threatened nor endangered.


Found in rocky deserts, the ornate spiny-tailed lizard is well adapted to areas with high temperatures, very low rainfall and little vegetation. In general, Uromastyx species are found on firm soil or rocky surfaces with sheltered crevices, but rarely spend time on sand. They typically shelter in rock crevices on the steep slopes of wadis, but descends to the lower slopes for courtship, mating and feeding . This species has sometimes been known to climb Acacia trees.

Animal’s Behaviour

The ornate spiny-tailed lizard 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. This lizard is active during the day with its most active time being around midday during the hottest months of the year. The ornate spiny-tailed lizard often basks in the hot sun. They typically lives in small groups consisting of one male and multiple females. The dominant male will attack and chase other males from the group’s home range, but does not maintain a strict territory. In June, the female ornate spiny-tailed lizard digs a hole in the desert floor in which to lay the eggs. Around 7 to 17 eggs are usually laid, and take up to 2 months to hatch.