Moroccan Uromastyx (U. acanthinuris)

The Moroccan Uromastyx, native to Morocco and Tunisia, was one of the first Uromastyx species imported into North America and was the first species successfully reproduced in herpetoculture.  Morocco banned further exportation in the late 1980's and almost all individuals currently in captivity were hatched in captivity.  The average price of Moroccans is in part a reflection of their rarity, with nicely colored adults average $300 to $500 each.  Hatchlings and juveniles still in the tan phase are generally much less, $150 to $250 being average, depending on parentage.  Moroccans can have striking colors of orange, yellow, and even washes of lime green or mixtures of all the above.  The best specimens can be truly stunning lizards.  As with most Uromastyx, they begin life displaying drab tans.  This is overlaid with a dense pattern of exceptionally tiny, more or less randomly scattered light gray dots on a darker background.  Moroccan hatchlings are very similar in appearance to Mali Uromastyx hatchlings (their closest relatives) and some dealers (inadvertently or otherwise) misrepresent juvenile Maliís as the more expensive Moroccans.  An examination of the back patterns usually makes distinguishing between the two possible.   Maliís usually have true ocellations (hollow spots) or tiny, solid, dark spots (freckles) less densely spaced on a lighter background.

Moroccans can be slow to develop adult color, with some individuals taking over three to five years to really show good coloration.  If not produced from brightly color parents, many individuals never exhibit strong coloration, retaining mostly earth tone colors with  varying shades of  orange or yellow highlights restricted predominately to the head and sides.  However most hatchlings from exceptional parents mature into similarly bright individuals.  Males are generally brighter than females but the better bloodlines commonly produce females equally as bright as the best males (note the photo above is of a mature female). Overall, good Moroccans produce the richest colored females in the Uromastyx family.

Moroccans are one of the bulkier species, commonly attaining 15Ē to 16" as adults, 400grams +, with males and females being very similar in size.  They generally have thick, wide tails, probably the stoutest of the Uromastyx group.  The lack of color or size differences between males and females can make sexing problematic, especially for adolescents.  The presence or absences of distinct hemipenal bulges is the only sure way to sex them, and this is only reliable in the spring and early summer.  Temperament wise, they are one of the more persnickety species.  With routine handling, many tame quite nicely, but a few tend to be slightly nippy. This tendency tends to show up early in life so picking a "friendly" specimen can be done at an early age.  They are one of the hardiest Uromastyx and are well suited for beginners. Availability tends more towards juveniles and hatchlings but occasionally adults can be had as well.  

The photos below are of our current breeders as of spring 2009 along with a few representative photos of what to expect if you order one of our hatchlings or adolescents.  Availability is usually good in the fall and early winter but becomes  sporadic after that.  Please e-mail or call us (360 435-2679) if you're looking for Moroccans.  We keep a "Wanted" list and fill it as specimens become available.  Please see  "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Pricing" for ordering information.

 DFF In-House Breeders

"Margins"  Bicolored male "Blue-Throat" Orange Male

"Agama Red Borders"   Male


"Agama Red Rider"  Male

"Tangerine TallTree"  Male

One of our in-house 4th generation DDF Moroccans

 "Tangerine "

Our Foundation female from 1999

"Leopard"  Female  "Sunset"  Female

"Agama Blush"  Female  "Neon"  female

Belly color  male  Typical DFF hatchling

Typical European stock Hatchling 3 month old hatchling

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.




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