Uromastyx are a genus of lizard in the agamid family, the same family that includes bearded dragons and frilled dragons, clown agamas and many other familiar lizards. There are at least 18 different species of uromastyx officially recognized by taxonomists, and many more subspecies and varieties.
The common name spinytail, or spiny-tailed agamid, comes from the 10 to 30 rings of spiked scales covering the top side of their tail. They are also sometimes called dabb lizards, or mastiguires, but they are usually just referred to as “uros.”
Uromastyx lizards inhabit a discontinuous range stretching through most of North Africa, the Middle East and across south-central Asia to the Indian subcontinent. This area, entirely north of the equator, spreads across 5,000 miles and 30 countries. These lizards occur at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 3,000 feet.
Most adult uromastyx are between 10 and 18 inches in length, the primary exception being the Egyptian uromastyx, which can exceed 30 inches in length. Hatchlings can measure a mere 3 to 4 inches in length.