Banded Uromastyx (U. flavofasciata)
The Banded Uromastyx is still somewhat of a rare member of the Uromastyx group in captivity. While the name is certainly accurate, it unfortunately causes confusion between it and the banded pattern Mali. Perhaps "Zebra" Uromastyx would solve the problem? A few individual Banded and natural Banded x Moroccan intergrades (Highland Bandeds) have been in England and Spain for some time and a few individuals and natural Mali x Banded intergrades have been scattered in U.S collections for many years but often misidentified as banded pattern Mali's (Lowland Bandeds). A shipment of pure Bandeds finally made it into Florida, USA, in 2001. We picked breeding stock early from this group and succeeded in producing the first true North American CB Bandeds in 2006 produced by juvies were reared from the 2001 group. A few more small shipments have been imported over the years but most appear to have been either intergrades with Ebony Uromastyx (U. alfredschmiti) or more likely melanistic Bandeds. The nominate species comes primarily from Mauritania with the most distinctive specimens coming from areas too remote for the various trappers/importers to want to work in. The Highland subpopulation likely comes from the extreme northern mountainous region nearer Morocco and one of the old trappers we met in the early 2000's indicated the locals in Mauritania suggested as much (he could not get up there to confirm this however). The Lowland group is clearly represented in the regions closer to Mali as stray specimens came in for years in shipments of Mali Uromastyx. The farther you go east from Mauritania, the more freckle patterned and less ocellated/banded pattern seems to show up in the resident Mali's.
Bandeds are clearly closely related to the Mali Uromastyx and poorly patterned juveniles can be difficult to tell from Mali's even for experienced Urophiles. As indicated, they naturally intergrade with Mali's and identification of those individuals can be problematic. If you look at multiple characteristics such as: degree of belly striping - (high in Bandeds, rare in Mali's); traces of orange or parchment pigments (non-existent in Mali's); form of the center back striping (minimal in most Bandeds, present in most banded-patterned Mali's); type of ocellations (round = Banded or Mali, versed honeycomb = Mali only), you can still get a good feel for what species is predominately present in the individuals. Bandeds are one of the larger species, rivaling Moroccans for the number two spot in terms of mass. Both sexes have strong alternating stripes, often in clear rows with a minimal to broken back stripe at best. Broken bands (misaligned where they meet at the center of the back) are also common but they still look slightly different than in a banded pattern Mali Uromastyx. Mali's have a strong tendency to keep the back stripe while Bandeds tend to loose it. The cross stripes in males go jet black with relatively straight edges while in females they often go deep mahogany with ocellations within the bands. The area between the bands is usually light tan in wild females but may be either parchment white or yellow in captive males and females. If the Highland morph, both sexes can get true orange pigmentation along the bands, bleeding into the inter-band area (a trait never seen in Mali's). Lastly, as adults Bandeds eventually get parchment white areas similar to the Algerian Uromastyx while Mali's never display that color. Their temperament is comparable to the Mali, being slightly more skittish as juvies but growing calmer with maturity.
They are generally much harder to sex than Mali's as many (but not all) females have distinct hemipenal bulges. Animals in breeding condition are a little easier to identify but many a female can be erroneously labeled "male" if you're not careful. We are breeding 3nd generation captive bred specimens now and steadily increasing out stock. We are incorporating Orange Moroccan genes into one line of our Bandeds to reproduce the Highland Banded specimens found in northern Mauritania and our current Mali breeding program is made up of a high percentage of naturally obtained Lowland Bandeds resulting from crossing in the wild. We select for high contrast, straight banded juvies, a trait that does show up early and seems to predominate in our current lines.
Availability is very limited and can be expected to remain so for a few more years under current conditions. We should have a few hatchlings available each fall/early winter but generally sell out shortly after the new year depending on now many hatched that season. Please e-mail or call us (360 435-2679) if you're looking for Bandeds'. We keep a "Wanted" list and fill it as specimens become available. Please see "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Pricing" for ordering information.
In-House Breeders and Sample Patterns
"Orange Borders" Female
"Camel" Wild-Colored Female
High Black (female)
Adolescent judt starting to color up
"Silver Crown" one of our F1 breeder females
"SilverTip"s one of our F1 breeder males
Natural (wild collected) Highland Banded
Natural (wild collected) Lowland Banded
1st N. American hatched Banded (DFF, 8-2006)
Typical DFF hatchling
Copyright © 1992-2012 by Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text