Mali Uromastyx

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Species group:

Other common names: Sudan Mastigure, Mali Dabb Lizard

Scientific name: Uromastyx maliensis

The basics:
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

Mali Uromastyx Health Tip

Mali Uromastyx

From ifweirdisnormal Apr 18 2012 9:21PM


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