The Spiny-tailed Lizards of North Africa and the Middle East
have spiny tails used for defence and flat bodies with loose
skin which enable them to hide in narrow rock crevices.
Leptiens Spiny-tailed (shown here) is sometimes included as a subspecies
of the Egyptian Spiny-tailed and sometimes treated as a full
species (Uromastyx leptieni).
Adult spiny-tails are mainly herbivorous and can regulate
body temperature by turning darker (cold) or lighter (warm).
They live in rocky terrain.
The Egyptian Spiny-tailed is native to much of North Africa
and the Middle East. Leptiens species or subspecies is found
only in hot deserts of the UAE and Northern Oman and is one of the largest in the
Uromastyx genus growing up to 30 inches in length
Its status is vulnerable through habitat destruction and as it is a source of food and
leather for bedouins.