Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx aegyptia) are reptiles that originated in the Middle East. Not only do they exist throughout Egypt, they also are found in other nations, such as Yemen, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait. Many of these family Agamidae creatures also reside as pets in captivity. Egyptian mastigure is another name for the species.
Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards are seen in scattered clusters throughout their geographic scope. The Red List for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature tagged the species as being "vulnerable" in 2012, a result of their dropping numbers from habitat ruination. The living environments for Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards are in jeopardy largely because of factors, such as farming development and excessive grazing. They sometimes even are taken by humans for their flesh. In nature, these lizards generally gravitate toward rugged regions.
Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards are members of the genus Uromastyx. Not only are Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards the biggest Uromastyx lizards, they also are believed to have the lengthiest average life expectancies of them all, as well. The typical life expectancy of Uromastyx lizards in captive environments isn't easy to predict, however, as many individuals that were taken in as pets originally came from other countries. Once these lizards began living as pets, their exact ages were uncertain and, therefore, impossible to track accurately. Some Uromastyx lizards have surpassed 30 years in age. However, half of that length, or about 15 years, generally is considered to be more of a standard life span for these reptiles.
Keep your Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard in strong health to potentially maximize his life span. Diet is a crucial aspect in their care. These guys adore munching on plants, but they also don't hesitate to feed on bugs if they have access to any. Regular feedings of fresh produce also go a long way in keeping Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards in optimal condition. Some examples of veggies that they eat frequently are dandelion greens, collard greens, kale, carrots and peas. Regular dietary supplementation for additional nourishment also is vital for them, something you can mix in with their fruits and veggies. Calcium is a common supplement for these lizards, and usually is offered to them two to three times weekly. Multivitamins that include vitamin A also are used commonly. Consult your veterinarian as you plan your lizard's diet. Never offer your pet anything unless you have the prior "OK" of the professional, for safety reasons.
Lighting and Metabolic Bone Disease
Lighting is another component that, like diet, often can keep your Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard in strong physical condition for years to come. Ample ultraviolet B (UVB) is crucial for the living environments of Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards. They require UVB to take in calcium properly. If a specimen doesn't receive enough of this type of lighting, he might suffer metabolic bone disease, an extremely risky and common ailment in many reptiles. Some typical indications of the disease are absence of appetite, anorexia, swelling of the legs, exhaustion, loss of walking skills, overall feebleness and fragile bones that are quick to shatter. If metabolic bone disease remains ignored in Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards, it could cause life-threatening results, thereby shortening their life spans. Urgent veterinary attention is a must for any reptile you suspect might be living with this illness.
- ReptileChannel.com: Uromastyx Lizard Care Sheet
- ReptileChannel.com: Egyptian Spiny Tail Species Profile
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species: Uromastyx aegyptia
- PetEducation: Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles
- The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine: Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles
- Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services: Uromastyx