Do you want to learn about the different kinds of lizards in Mauritania?
If so, you’ve come to the right place! In the article below, I have listed the lizards you can expect to see. For each species, you’ll find out how to identify that lizard correctly, along with pictures and interesting facts!
5 Lizards That Live IN Mauritania:
#1. Nile Monitor
- Varanus niloticus
How to identify:
- Length: Between 47 – 86 inches (119 to 218 cm).
- Lifespan: Between 10 and 20 Years.
- Nile Monitors have prominent skin patterns; both males and females are grey/brown on top and have green/yellow barring on their tails. Both sexes have large, greenish-yellow spots on their backs, and their underside and throats are creamy-yellow.
Nile Monitors are one of the largest and most spectacular lizards to observe in Mauritania.
Look for them roaming near a permanent water source near woodlands, scrubs, evergreen thickets, mangroves, and swamps. Nile Monitors feed on frogs, toads, rodents, small turtles, birds, eggs, insects, and fish.
Luckily, the Nile Monitor is a lizard, not a human; otherwise, society would frown upon its polygamous behavior. Both males and females mate with several other partners.
After mating, the female takes a break from the males and makes a suitable nest in termite borrows or digs a hole near water where she lays up to 60 eggs. The female is patient during the incubation process, which lasts six to nine months. The baby monitors dig their way to freedom, or the female digs them out, and after three to four years, they are ready to mate themselves.
#2. Rainbow Agama
- Agama agama
How to identify:
- Length: Between 5.1 and 11.8 inches (13 to 30 cm).
- Lifespan: 25 years.
- The Rainbow Agama is white underneath, and its back limbs are brown with a light stripe running down the middle of its tail. Males have a yellow tail and head with a blue body.
Rainbow Agamas love hot and dry areas in Mauritania!
In fact, they stay active all day except when the temperature skyrockets to over 100°F (38ºC) in the shade. They mainly feed on insects like ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and termites, but they won’t say no to a small mammal, flower, or fruit.
Like chameleons, the Rainbow Agama uses its tongue to catch its prey. The tip of the Agama’s tongue has sticky mucous glands, enabling it to feed on ants and small insects.
The female produces thermoregulated embryos, meaning that the embryos are able to maintain a normal internal temperature. However, during incubation, higher environmental temperatures result in the development of males, and lower temperatures result in the development of females.After hatching, the youngsters are independent and must fend for themselves until they reach maturity after 14-18 months.
#3. Antillean House Gecko
- Hemidactylus angulatus
- Length: 2.2 inches (5.6 cm).
- Lifespan: Up to 7 years.
The Antillean House Gecko is no stranger to humans in Mauritania!
This lizard prefers the safety and shelter of urban settings like towns, cities, and airports. They are great climbers and love roaming walls and stones where they hunt at night, where they sit close to the light and wait for their next meal. Naturally, they are mostly found in trees, where they rest beneath the bark of trees during the day.
The Antillean House Gecko is nocturnal and feeds on cockroaches, arthropods, larvae, and insects.
#4. Peters’s Rock Agama
- Agama picticauda
How to identify:
- Length: About 12 inches (31 cm).
- They have tan limbs with a light underside. It has a stripe running through the middle of its tail with six to seven dark spots on the side.
- Males are larger than females.
- Dominant males have a yellow head and tail with a blue body. Subordinate females and males are distinguishable by their olive-green heads.
Peters’s Rock Agama prefers areas in Mauritania with a lot of vegetation. They are semi-arboreal terrestrial, meaning they spend half of the day on the ground and the other half in trees, making the humid savanna forest their favorite habitat. But stay on alert because they are also often seen in urban areas.
Peters’s Rock Agamas are opportunistic hunters that spend most of the day in tree branches waiting for prey. When a spider, cricket, grasshopper, or ant passes close to the lizard, it quickly strikes to devour its meal.
#5. Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizard
- Acanthodactylus boskianus
How to identify:
- They have five dark longitudinal stripes, and the middle stripe subdivides at the neck with an olive-grey dorsal.
- The males are larger than females. The female’s tail underside becomes red through the breeding period.
Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizards are extremely active hunters in Mauritania and mainly feed on insects.
When the breeding season arrives, the males set out to secure a female, and she is very particular with whom she mates. Chemicals exude from femoral glands and play a role in sex recognition, courtship, and communication. Males with larger heads are the thing that makes a Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizard female’s heartbeat faster.
Once the male secures a female, he is extremely territorial and will often discourage other males through aggression.
Do you want to learn MORE about animals in Mauritania?
Check out these ID Guides!
Which of these lizards in Mauritania is your favorite?
Leave a comment below!