Sudanese Uromastyx (U. ocellata )

Sudanese, or more correctly, the Sudanese race of the Ocellated Uromastyx, are one of the less common Uromastyx species generally available in North America. These and Ornates were the first two Uromastyx species we started working with at Deer Fern Farms and we probably hold the North American record for the first true captive production of fertile eggs (just our luck however that that clutch died in the shell prior to hatching and someone else got live hatchlings a year or two later while we had our pairs split). They are imported only sporadsically into North America and thus remain relatively uncommon. Their average price reflects this, with hatchlings commonly going for between $195 and $250. Technically Sudan is still willing to export them, however the U.S. has Sudan listed as a terrorist nation and usually will not permit any importations from them to clear customs.  One or two groups have made it into North America in recent years by being shipped to Canada or Europe with some occasionally re-exported into the U.S. However these groups often arrive in poor condition with few specimens being successfully acclimated.

They are close relatives of the Ornate Uromastyx, but are much reduced in size, generally maxing out below 11", 200 grams.   Unlike most Uromastyx species, mature females tend to be as large or larger than the males. There are actually two forms of Ocellated Uromastyx.  This, the Sudanese form, comes from Sudan and basically has a ground color of dull to medium green in females to blue green with an almost metal flake-like quality in males. The nominate form, the Egyptian Ocellated Uromastyx, native to Egypt,  is about 1/4 to 1/3 larger overall and both sexes have a ground color of sandy brown. The two forms are not officially recognized as true subspecies as they intergrade over a large area with no key characteristics to reliably distinguish between the two. However, in herpetoculture, the two most distantly found forms are considered distinctly different. Some breeders treated them as if they were separate species while others interbred them in hopes of combining the best traits of both. Both types have an oak-leaf-pattern patch of orange covering the back.  Upon this patch are randomly spaced white spots, often outlined in black.  Males of both types get blue throats, however the blue is generally much more extensive in the Sudanese form.  They also vary tremendously in temperament. The Sudanese Ocellated are a very active species, tending to be somewhat shy, often taking several months to remain out in the open when approached by their owner.  They are very reminiscent of Rainbow Uromastyx in their relation ship to humans (like a "semi-tame" State Park chipmunk). They are completely non-aggressive towards people, essentially never offering to bite or tail slap.  If paired immediately upon acquisition, they generally are one of the easier species to keep as compatible pairs.  They are one of our more "fun" species to work with, but are not suitable for homes where you you wish to handle your pet on a regular basis. While they tame nicely, they quickly become shy if regularly "caught" for handling.  The Egyptian Ocellated on the other hand is essentially a much less "ornate" Ornate Uromastyx in temperament (they were actually listed as the same species for awhile). They are generally very calm, laid back Uro's. They take handling well and are better suited for those who like to interact with their Uro's outside their cage on a regular basis. The few breeders who worked with them loved the temperament, which to a large degree helps makes up for the lack of flashy colors.  Unfortunately the Egyptian  race only came in very briefly and in very small numbers in the early 1990's and too few were set up to establish them in captivity. To my knowledge none (crosses or otherwise) currently exist in North American at this time. 

The Sudanese race is still available and a few are captively produced each year. The number of people working with them is still so low however that their long term availability is very questionable. As adults they are hardy and suitable for beginners. However gravid females tend to be delicate as are the hatchlings. Once the hatchlings cross  5+" or more total length in size they become much hardier. We have a few individuals in our collection but it is more to  figure out how to get them to fair better in captivity rather than consistently breed them at this point. We hope to use the data to help us with other rarer species (Arabians/ Somali's) with similar problems.

We’ve posted photos of  a few individuals we’ve worked with over the years to give you an idea of their variability. We are no longer breeding Sudanese Uromastyx in-house but do have access to them from colleagues if you're looking for some.  Numbers a re VERY limited so please e-mail or call us if you're looking for some.  We keep a "Wanted" list and fill it as specimens become available. 

 

"BoyBlue"  Male High Blue Female

 


Green Male Green Female

Ornate (Lt), Rainbow, and Sudanese Hatchlings (6-10 months) 4 Week Old Hatchling (by new penny)


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