Do you want to learn about the different kinds of lizards in Western Sahara?
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!
4 Lizards That Live IN Western Sahara:
#1. 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 Western Sahara 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.
#2. Bibron’s Agama
- Agama bibronii
It is also called the North African Rock Agama.
How to identify:
- The male has a greyish-green dorsal, blue head, and orange rims around his eyes, and his dorsal has brown spots.
- The female is smaller than the male and has an orangey-yellow back with red stripes.
- Age and exposure to the sun cause color variance in both males and females.
Bibron’s Agama inhabits the rocky areas of Western Sahara and prefers Mediterranean vegetation, steppe areas, and cultivated land. These lizards are omnivores and feed on arthropods, small lizards, and plant material. They feed on flowers for their moisture content.
Males are extremely competitive and often compete with other males for the opportunity to mate with a female. When a male encounters another male, he puffs up his throat and pushes the front part of his body upward to make him look bigger.
If this first intimidation move doesn’t work, the two males will fight by circling and beating each other with their tales until one gives up. After winning the fight, the male seeks out a female and courts her with a circular dance, and she responds by arching her back and raising her tail and body.
#3. Common Wall Gecko (Moorish Gecko)
- Tarentola mauritanica
- Adults grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.
- They have spiny skin and variable coloring, which allows them to blend in with rocky terrain.
- Their shape is typical of a gecko, with a large head, thin abdomen, and prominent, large toes.
Common Wall Geckos are frequently spotted lizards in the northern part of Western Sahara.
These nocturnal lizards are known to be comfortable around people, and can easily scale the walls of your home, thus their common name. However, don’t be frightened if you see one inside! It won’t do you any harm, and it may eat a few pesky insects for you.
Common Wall Geckos, which are also called Moorish Geckos, have been introduced to many parts of the world via exotic plant shipments and the pet trade. While they don’t usually do serious damage as an invasive species, they can impact some plant life with their appetite.
#4. Common Chameleon
- Chamaeleo chamaeleon
- Adults are 20-40 cm (8-16 in) long.
- Colors vary from yellow/brown to dark brown, with two light-colored lines along their sides.
- Females are significantly larger than males.
The Common Chameleon is one of the most well-known lizards in Western Sahara!
Their camouflaging ability is well-known, as is the incredible length of their tongues. One lesser-known talent is the speed with which it catches its prey. The Common Chameleon uses its tongue to rapidly extend and catch insects on the sticky end.
Despite its quick tongue, the Common Chameleon is one of the slowest lizard species in the world. They must capitalize on their camouflage skills to avoid predators and catch prey.
One of the ways it goes undetected is to remain incredibly still for long periods. The Common Chameleon has two or three toes on each foot to help it balance, climb, and hold on to branches. To improve its stability, this reptile also uses its prehensile tail to improve its balance.
Do you want to learn MORE about animals in Western Sahara?
Check out these ID Guides!
Which of these lizards in Western Sahara is your favorite?
Leave a comment below!