Mali Uromastyx (U. maliensis)

The Mali Uromastyx is currently the most common Uromastyx species in herpetoculture. This is largely due to the fact  that  was the most commonly imported species from the wild.  Further importation  was banned in 2009 but a few individuals of the closely related subspecies (dispar dispar) occasionally come in from Chad.  Many herpetoculturalists tend to overlook the Mali  - falsely assuming it's lower price suggests it's a less desirable or somehow inferior species.   Mali's actually are the best species to work with for beginners as they are the hardiest of an already hardy group.   They acclimate to new surroundings quickly, have generally calm, friendly temperaments, and are one the easier species to pair up for breeding.   Adult size averages 13" to 15" for males, 10" to 14" for females.   Lifespan is comparable to the other species and averages 12+ years.   They have some of the most variable patterns of the Uromastyx species, but limit their color schemes to blacks, yellows and tans.  

Hatchlings start life as basically variegated tans with faint dark gray to black hash marks and fainter dark gray patterning on their backs.   In the wild , most females retain this color scheme their entire lives.  However something about captivity results in most females eventually going mostly dark chocolate to shiny black, often with yellow markings, more reminiscent of males.   A few females in the wild also become these "Male-Mimics".   They usually start by going through the "Magpie" stage, which is characterized by  heightened degrees of yellow on the back and black striping around the head and face.  Almost all have some degree of banding in the back ocellation patterns well.   Most Magpie females will eventually become shiny black with varying degrees of yellow ocellations and at first glance  are indistinguishable from  a good male - thus the designation "male-mimics".

Males start  life clad  identically to females, but begin adding pale yellow to the ground color usually within a year of hatchling.  By early year 2, they begin adding black  first at the base of the neck, then eventually the head, legs, and tail become shiny black, with the yellows beginning to brighten.  The difference between the various morphs of Mali's lies primarily in the varying formation of the ocellations (false eyes) that cover their backs.  Their base patterns are based on the degree of fragmentation of these ocellations.  Heavily fragmented ocellations come out as freckles (black polka-dots) and is the most common form.  If the fragments partially join up into random "squiggles", you produce the very attractive "Cobra" pattern.  Completely formed ocellations can occur as  angular, evenly spaced and dense spots,  yielding the "Honeycomb" morph, or  spaced out and more rounded, producing the "Ocellated" morph.   Finally, the rarest morph is randomly arranged, distorted full ocellations producing the "Clown" morph.  Upon this base pattern you can get Clear yellows (no black in large areas of the back) to Herringbones (fishbone-like pattern of ocellations on an otherwise solid  black or tan background) to mixtures of all the above.  

We almost exclusively carry the current years captive bred hatchlings or hold back yearlings from the previous years breedings.  To a limited degree we price them based on the distinctness of pattern and intensity of color.  Freckles generally run $85, Cobras, Honeycombs and High Blacks $95 to $125.  Note these prices assume they are equal in all other respects (weight, temperament, general condition and presence of any notable scars etc.).  We usually discount the price for pairs or trios etc.  Both sexes can come in any of the below patterns.  Temperament wise, the sexes are indistinguishable and both make equally good pets. 

We've placed a photo sampling of the various morphs of Mali Uromastyx we breed along with what they look like as juvies.  Note as hatchlings and yearlings, they are predominately still tan.  The black and yellows come in later as they mature.  We can tell what the adult pattern should finish out like but not the intensity of the yellows or degree of body which will end up black.   Please e-mail or call us (360-435-2679) if you're looking for Mali's.   If we don't have the exact specimens you're looking for, we put you on our "Wanted" list and contact you once specimens become available.  Please see  "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Pricing" for ordering information.


In-House Breeders and Juvie photos


"Ocellated-Clown"  Male "Eye-Banded"  Female

"Voodoo"  Male "Super-Honey"  Female

"Green-Spots"  Male  "SnowBalls"  Female

Clown hatchling Hatchling Belly

We ship based on the prevailing weather patterns between us and you. Usually we can ship most weeks, but when large storms/severe heat/cold are forecasted, we prefer to hold off.   Please see  "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Pricing" for ordering information.


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