Sunday 19 May
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard (Acanthodactylus opheodurus)
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Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard fact file
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Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard description
Owing to its superficial similarity to its larger congener, Acanthodactylus boskianus, the snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard was only officially described in 1980 (2). As its name suggests, this species has a particularly long tail (3), and, in common with other Acanthodactylus species, the toes are fringed with scales adapted for running over loose sand (4) (5). Like other lacertids, the body is long and cylindrical, and the legs are well developed (4). The basic body colour is grey, with seven dark stripes running down the back and sides (2), and a tail tinged red in immatures (3).
- Also known as
- Arnold’s fringe-fingered lizard. Top
International Reptile Conservation Foundation:
- Species belonging to the same genus.
- Active during the day.
- Old World terrestrial lizards.
IUCN Red List (February, 2013)
- Tiedemann, F. (1991) First record of Acanthodactylus opheodurus ARNOLD, 1980, and Coluber ventromaculatus GRAY, 1834 (Squamata: Lacertidae, Colubridae) from the United Arab Emirates. Herpetozoa, 4: 167-175.
- Hellyer, P. and Aspinall, S. (2005) The Emirates: A Natural History. Trident Press Limited, United Arab Emirates.
- Pianka, E.R. and Vitt, L.J. (2003) Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptile and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Zaady, E. & Bouskila, A. (2002) Lizard burrows association with successional stages of biological soil crusts in an arid sandy region. Journal of Arid Environments, 50: 235–246.
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Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard biology
There is very little information available on the biology of the snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard. However, this diurnal lizard reportedly lives in burrows excavated out of hard sand. Remaining concealed for all but a few hours of the day, the burrows not only act as a shelter from predators but also provide refuge from extreme temperatures (6).Top
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard range
The snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard is currently known from the Arabian Peninsula and several other countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq (2).Top
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard habitat
The snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard has been collected from a range of arid habitats, including plains with relatively hard sand cover and low hills covered by dense bushes (2).Top
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard status
The snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard threats
There are not thought to be any major threats to the snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard at present, although overgrazing of its habitat may be a concern in some parts of its range (1).Top
Snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard conservation
There are no known specific conservation measures currently in place for the snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard, but it occurs in a number of protected areas, which may offer it some protection (1).Top
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