Highland Banded Uromastyx (U. flavofasciata (?nigroventris intergrade))
The Highland Banded Uromastyx is an example of a natural intergrade species. The climate of the Middle East tends to run on alternate 10,000 year wet and dry epochs. During the wetter periods, the areas inhabitable by Uromastyx tend to slowly expand, allowing some of the previously isolated species to intermingle and potentially interbreed. During dry epochs, most of these intergrade populations become isolated again and no doubt most die out before a wet cycle returns. The highland Banded is a prefect example of this process. They seem to occur in the northern highlands of Mauritania ( just south of Morocco, among other places) and clearly possess traits of both the Moroccan and the Banded Uromastyx. Only a very few individuals have ever shown up in importations suggesting their population is either very small and/or very isolated. We had a couple individuals in the late 1990's but these failed to acclimate so were lost. As obtaining new stock seems all but impossible, we decided in 2006 to try to recreate the race by breeding some of our brighter Moroccans with a few female Bandeds that were showing traces of Moroccan coloration in their Bands. In the Highland morph, both sexes can get true orange pigmentation along the bands, bleeding into the inter-band area.
Up until a taxonomic revision in the mid 1990's split the group, Bandeds and Moroccans were both considered the same species (U acanthinuris), separated out only at the subspecies level along with the Mali Uromastyx. The adult size and temperament of the Highland Bandeds lean towards the Banded side of the family tree and for all practical purposes seem to simply be a variant of that species. Typical of Bandeds, they are generally somewhat harder to sex than Moroccans as many females have fairly distinct hemipenal bulges. Animals in breeding condition are easier to identify but you have to look closer than in the typical Moroccan. We are breeding 2nd generation captive bred specimens now.
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 Blush" Female
"Orange Dragon" male
Copyright © 1992-2015 by Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text