Species group: Uromastyx, Dabb and Spiny-Tailed Lizards
Other common names: Sudan Mastigure, Mali Dabb Lizard
Scientific name: Uromastyx maliensis
Brilliant colors, bulldog-like “beauty”, and a calm disposition place this unique species high on the “must have” lists of serious lizard enthusiasts. Although the hardiest member of its genus, the Mali Uromastyx should only be kept by those able to supply the large enclosure, high temperatures, and specialized diet that it needs.
The Mali Uromastyx is found in northwestern Mali and southwestern Algeria, North Africa, where it resides in sand-gravel deserts and nearby thorn scrub habitats.
Appearance / health:
The 33 – 38 cm (13 – 15 in) body is stout and somewhat flattened in shape. Females are generally tan with gray or black markings, but may also be black and yellow. Males are strikingly colored in jet-black and yellow. Breeders have intensified both color and pattern in some captive lines.
Well-cared-for Mali Uromastyx may exceed 20 years of age. Respiratory diseases can take hold in damp terrariums, and intestinal blockages caused by ingested substrate are sometimes a concern. Strict attention to their nutritional needs is essential.
Behavior / temperament:
Individuals vary, but most accept gentle handling. They will be much easier to work with if kept in a large, properly-provisioned habitat.
An adult Mali Uromastyx requires an enclosure at least the size of a 55 gallon aquarium. While a sand/soil substrate has been used with success, finch seed, which can be consumed as well, or terrarium liners, are safer options. Plastic caves, PVC pipes or cinderblocks should be provided as shelters.
Daily exposure to high levels of UVB light is essential. Mali Uromastyx require a basking temperature of 110 - 120 F, but must be able to move into cooler areas (85-95 F) as well. Humidity should be kept low, and the substrate must remain dry. Females and youngsters often co-exist, but males cannot be kept together.
Mali Uromastyx require a high fiber diet that includes dandelion, endive, bok choy, romaine, and a variety of other greens. Avoid iceberg lettuce, cabbage, spinach and broccoli. Grassland Tortoise Pellets, split peas, lentils and wild bird seed, along with produce such as peas, squash, carrots and yams, should be added to the salad 1-2 x weekly. Hibiscus, honeysuckle, Rose of Sharon, rose and other flowers, and de-spined prickly pear cactus pads, should be offered when available. Most meals should be powdered with a Calcium supplement; a vitamin/mineral supplement should be provided twice weekly.
Insects should be used only as a rare treat, or perhaps to induce a reluctant feeder or habituate a shy individual to your presence. Well-fed Uromastyx usually obtain sufficient water from their diet, but a shallow bowl can be offered as a safety measure.
Mali Uromastyx may breed if chilled to 60-65 F with a 4 hour basking period of 85 F for 6-8 weeks, at which time the day length should be reduced to 8 hours. A nest box stocked with 4-6 inches of moist sand should be provided. The eggs may be incubated in vermiculite at a ratio of 4 parts vermiculite to 1 part water by weight. At 92-94 F, the eggs will hatch in 55-70 days.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
calm demeanor, calm vegetarians, easy upkeep, cool lizards, excellent pets, Good First Lizard
high set-up cost, long claws, large cages, tail whip, higher basking temps
Vegetarian Malis, basking area, herbivorous diet, spikey tails, FierceLooking
From Kacie Bingham Sep 29 2017 5:42PM
The Mali Uromastyx is a beautiful and intriguing lizard. They get to a decent size, with males reaching about 18 inches, and females closer to 15-16. They are also one of the few lizards that can be fed a completely herbivorous diet... in fact, animal protein, while often accepted eagerly, is not good for uromastyx, and so should be less than 5% of their diet. The lack of live food makes the convenience of the uromastyx something to be desired. It also makes them relatively inexpensive to feed, as long as you don't mind trips to the local fresh produce stand. It can also be difficult, though extremely important, to keep a basking area of 115-120, with the rest of the tank not dropping below 80.
Uromastyx should have a diet made up primarily of dark leafy greens, and spinach should be offered sparingly. Fruits and veggies can be given as well, with radishes and berries being popular choices. Beans, while enjoyed, should be fed sparingly due to their low moisture content. A water dish should not be offered except during sheds, as most uromastyx will not drink. In the wild they get all moisture from their food, so it should be misted before being offered. A bowl of birdseed should always be available, as it aids in digestion.
Mali Uromastyx are generally handleable, but do not particularly usually enjoy being held. It can be difficult to catch them, but once in your hands they are easy to handle. Watch out for the spiny tail when grabbing, as it is their primary defense in the wild and can pack quite a punch.
These guys are EXTREMELY hardy and vigorous, even for reptiles. My first Mali Uromastyx, nicknamed Dr. Wuffles for his dorky, turtle-like appearance, was a rescue, kept in room temperature and fed only birdseed for months. He is now a happy, healthy, and thriving little guy.
From ifweirdisnormal Apr 18 2012 9:21PM