Indian Uromastyx (U. hardwicki)

 

Indian Uromastyx (U. hardwicki) are probably the least known of the once reasonably available Uromastyx species. They were only sporadically imported and almost never bred.  To date (2011) they have only bred bred twice, first by us at DFF indoors in 2004 and in 2009 by Drew Rheinhardt (Salt River Reptiles) in outdoor facilities.  They are literally on the precipice of being lost to herpeticulture in North American.  Luckily they are still common in the wild and may one day make it back to captivity in sufficient numbers to establish a stable population.

It's a very interesting species. They are considered the most primitive Uromastyx and are listed for being placed in a new Genus separate from Uromastyx (Saara), retaining physical characteristics more reminiscent of the butterfly agamas.  They have exceptionally numerous whorls of spines along their tails, but the spines themselves are formed more into short nubs rather than long sharp spines. Typical coloration for both sexes is elephant gray with faint dark gray  rectangular or broken linear spotting.  Both sexes develop a large bluish black spot under each thigh (see photo below).  Some individuals also develop a yellow under coating to the gray.  One race/subspecies (U. h. babiana,  as yet not found in herpetoculture in North America) develops a distinct orange cast, with a few individuals sporadically displaying faint sky blue spotting.   

The literature varies somewhat concerning their size, but 12" to 14" seems about tops for the race predominately in captivity (but they supposedly reach up to 18" in the wild).   Males tend towards slightly larger mature sizes, but otherwise the sexes are essentially outwardly identical.  Only the presence or absence of distinct hemipenal bulges can be used to accurately distinguish between the sexes.  This can be difficult to ascertain in immature specimens, so obtaining true pairs of young specimens is somewhat problematic.  In the wild, they are semi-social, and are sometimes referred to as the reptilian version of the North American prairie dog.  Indian Uromastyx have outgoing personalities, tame well, and make excellent pets.  Consider them something of a dwarf Egyptian Uromastyx.  They are quite hardy, feed readily on most food items, and are an excellent species even for beginners.  What they lack in bright colors, they more than make up for in "cuteness" and personality.  

We've posted below several photos of specimens we've had and bred in the past.  Our current stock is limited to a pair of juveniles tht we are hope to eventually bred and restart our breeding group.  Our availability will be essentially zero for  at least a few years, however a stray unpaired adult may occasionally be available.   Please e-mail or call  us (360-435-2679) if you're looking for Indians.  We keep a "Wanted" list and fill it as specimens become available. Note preference will be given to those wanted to try and breed this species.  


Adolescent Male High Yellow Adolescent Male

Adolescent Female Hatchling (1st N.American breeding)

Tail Detail Thigh "Eye Spots"

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Email: douglasdix@deerfernfarms.com

Copyright 1992-2010 by  Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text