Orange Benti Uromastyx (U. benti )

Despite being imported in reasonable numbers for several years,  Orange benti are almost completely gone from captivity in North America. They only naturally occur in Yemen, but at low elevations, in contrast to their flashier cousins the Rainbow Uromastyx.  The two forms intermingle at  mid-elevations and intergrades are common. The two "pure" types are distinctly different in all regards: size, color, pattern, temperament, and even morphology. Orange benti are on average distinctly huskier than Rainbows, being about 1/4 larger overall (both in length and weight).  Both sexes of Orange benti lack any trace what-so-ever of femoral pores, while both sexes of Rainbow benti have obvious false pores (enlarged "shield scales" lying along the femoral pores' normal path).  Both sexes of pure Orange benti have solid orange backgrounds from snout to tail tip.  This can range from almost brown to yellow orange to red orange, but there is no obvious color change from head to tail as occurs in Rainbows.  While less a "rule",  back spotting is generally different as well.  Pure Orange benti commonly have alternating rows of spots laid out in a very linear pattern.  The odd numbered rows have medium sized spots while the even numbered rows have very small spots very closely spaced together.  Rainbows never have this arrangement.  Lastly, where male Rainbows have broadly blue sides, arm pits, etc., Orange benti normally continue with orange pigments with traces of malachite green to only very rarely any hints of blue. Temperament wise, they are similar to Rainbows, but in our opinion, slightly more aggressive and even harder to keep as compatible pairs. They are slightly less high strung but still can get "depressed" when moved to a new cage and thus stability in their housing is important.  

Their importation history is identical to that of the Rainbow Benti  (please see the Rainbow Benti page for more details).  Once the Rainbow was identified in the Yemen shipments, most importers asked exclusively for them in future importations. This caused further importations of the true Orange benti to essentially stop.  Extremely few ever made it into breeding programs and most of those breeders have abandoned the effort in lew of easier, flashier species.  This is a shame as Orange benti can be very showy specimens with very interesting personalities.  While orange is a somewhat common color in Uromastyx, "Orange benti" orange is a distinctly different shade of orange.   Needless to say, they are extremely rare as this time and are in real danger of being lost to herpetoculture.  Yemen has not banned further exportations but as that country is so unstable at this point in time, it's extremely unlikely any Uromastyx will be arriving from their in the foreseeable future.

We no longer have any specimens of this species but are seeking to add them again if the opportunity presents itself.  I've posted a few photos below of specimens we've worked with in the past so you can get a feel for them.

 

High White Orange Benti Adult Male  Adult Female

Orange Benti x Rainbow Intergrade Male Malachite Green-Sided Adult Male

 

 


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