Acanthodactylus is a genus of lacertid lizards, commonly referred to as fringe-fingered lizards or fringe-toed lizards (though the latter common name is also used for the New World lizard genus Uma).

Bosc's fringe-toed lizards (Acanthodactylus boskianus asper) love bite
A. boskianus asper in Jordan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Lacertidae
Genus: Acanthodactylus
Wiegmann, 1834[1]

ca. 40. See text.

Geographic range

The approximately 40 species in the genus Acanthodactylus are native to a wide area in North Africa, southern Europe and Western Asia; across the Sahara Desert, to the Iberian Peninsula, and east through the Arabian Peninsula, to Afghanistan and western India.[2]


Though lizards of the genus Acanthodactylus prefer dry and sparsely vegetated regions, they are not strictly tied to an arid terrain; so it is not uncommon to come across them in various environments.


Members of the genus Acanthodactylus possess the following combination of traits:[2]

The coloration and pattern of spots of Acanthodactylus is extremely variable, so it is unsurprising that zoologists have, at one time or another, classified every variety as a separate species.


Every saurian of the genus Acanthodactylus is very aggressive and gets continuously involved in skirmishes with other members of its species. The males strenuously defend the borders of their territories.


Acanthodactylus are oviparous. The number of eggs in a clutch ranges from 3 to 7. The total length of a sexually mature adult of the genus is, on average, 18 to 20 cm (7.1 to 7.9 in).


Genus Acanthodactylus[3]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Acanthodactylus.


  1. ^ "Acanthodactylus ". ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).
  2. ^ a b Salvador A (1982). "A revision of the lizards of the genus Acanthodactylus (Sauria: Lacertidae)". Bonn. Zool. Monogr. (16): 1–167.
  3. ^ "Acanthodactylus ". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 13 January 2014.

Further reading

  • Boulenger GA (1887). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume III. Lacertidæ, ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 575 pp. + Plates I-XL. (Genus Acanthodactylus, p. 58).
  • Wiegmann AFA (1834). Herpetologia Mexicana, ... Pars Prima, Saurorum Species, ... Berlin: C.G. Lüderitz. vi + 54 pp. + Plates I-X. (Acanthodactylus, new genus, p. 10). (in Latin).

External links

Acanthodactylus ahmaddisii

Acanthodactylus ahmaddisii or the Jordanian fringe-fingered lizard is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae.

Acanthodactylus arabicus

Acanthodactylus arabicus or the Arabian fringe-fingered lizard is a species of lizards found in south Yemen. It is a common species inhabiting deserts and dry shrublands with sandy substrates. It is oviparous.

Acanthodactylus blanci

Acanthodactylus blanci, commonly known as the white fringe-fingered lizard or Blanc's fringe-toed lizard, is a species of lizards in the family Lacertidae. The species is endemic to North Africa.

Acanthodactylus blanfordii

Acanthodactylus blanfordii, commonly called Blanford's fringe-fingered lizard, is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. The species is endemic to the Middle East and India.

Acanthodactylus erythrurus

Acanthodactylus erythrurus, commonly known as the spiny-footed lizard, is a species of lacertid lizard endemic to northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. It is considered to be the fastest member of the huge Lacertidae family. Its common name refers to the spines that are arranged like a comb on the toes of its hind legs.

Acanthodactylus harranensis

Acanthodactylus harranensis, the Harran fringe-toed lizard, is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family.

Acanthodactylus maculatus

Acanthodactylus maculatus, the spotted fringe-fingered lizard, is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family. It is endemic to northwestern Africa.

Be'er Sheva fringe-fingered lizard

The Be'er Sheva fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus beershebensis) is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. It is a member of the subgenus Lacertinae, and the tribe Acanthodactylus (spiny footed lizards). Considered a separate species based on morphological distinction, and isolated location; it shares a large portion of its genetics with Acanthodactylus pardalis in this genus. Many of the individual species under this genus are similar, but varying coloration explains why each species have been separated. Like all Acanthodactylus, the beershebensis lays eggs, varying from three to seven eggs at a time. Adults vary in size from 17 to 20 centimeters, but can get much larger. It is endemic to the loess scrublands of the Negev desert in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, a biodiversity hotspot.It was declared critically endangered after an assessment in 2006 due to a serious population decline. Some estimates claim numbers have declined 80% over the last three generations. The small populations are severely fragmented across the Negev desert. This decline has been caused by habitat destruction and degradation. Conservation efforts also damaged the population, but a small portion of their original range remains untouched and protected.

Bedriaga's fringe-fingered lizard

Bedriaga's fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus bedriagai ) is a species of lizards in the family Lacertidae. The species is endemic to Algeria.

Bosc's fringe-toed lizard

Bosc's fringe-toed lizard (Acanthodactylus boskianus) is a species of lacertid lizard endemic to North Africa and Western Asia.

Doumergue's fringe-fingered lizard

Doumergue's fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus spinicauda) is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae.

Duméril’s fringe-fingered lizard

Duméril's fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus dumerili, also misspelled as Acanthodactylus dumerilii) is a species of the genus fringe-fingered lizards in the Acanthodactylus scutellatus species group. It is found in the West and Central Sahara.

Indian fringe-fingered lizard

The Indian fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus cantoris) is a species of lacertid lizard found in Asia.

Leopard fringe-fingered lizard

The leopard fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus pardalis) is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. This species is endemic to North Africa.

List of reptiles of Jordan

Jordan has about 115 species of reptiles, most of them are snakes and lizards and some species of turtles. No species of crocodiles were found in the country.

List of reptiles of Lebanon

This is a list of reptiles found in Lebanon.

Emydid Turtles

Balkan terrapin Mauremys rivulataLand Tortoises

Antakyan Tortoise Testudo antakyensis

Flower's Tortoise Testudo floweri

Greek Tortoise Testudo graecaMarine Turtles

Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta

Green Turtle Chelonia mydasSoftshell Turtles

Nile Softshell Turtle Trionyx triunguisAgamid Lizards

Rough-tailed Rock Agama Laudakia stellio

Trapelus lessonaeChameleons

Mediterranean Chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleonGeckos

Levant Fan-fingered Gecko Ptyodactylus puiseuxi

Kotschy’s Gecko Mediodactylus kotschyi

Turkish Gecko Hemidactylus turcicusLacertid Lizards

Giant Fringe-fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus grandis

Schreiber's Fringe-fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus schreiberi

Lebanon Fringe-fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus tristrami

Wall lizard Podarcis sp

Fraas's Lizard Lacerta fraasii

Lacerta kulzeri

Lebanon Lizard Lacerta laevis

Levant Green Lizard Lacerta media

Mesalina brevirostris

European Snake-eyed Lizard Ophisops elegansSkinks

European copper skink Ablepharus kitaibelii

Ocellated Skink Chalcides ocellatus

Bridled Skink Mabuya vittata

Schneider's Skink Novoeumeces schneideri

Lataste's Snake Skink Ophiomorus latastii

Golden Grass Mabuya Trachylepis aurata

Bridled Mabuya Trachylepis vittataLegless Lizards

European Glass Lizard Ophisaurus apodusMonitor Lizards

Desert Monitor Varanus griseusAmphisbaenids

Turkish Worm Lizard Blanus strauchiBlind Snakes

European Blind Snake Typhlops vermicularisPythons and Boas

Caucasian Sand Boa Eryx jaculusColubrid Snakes

Green Whip Snake Coluber jugularis

Asian Racer Hemorrhois nummifer

Rogers's Racer Coluber rogersi

Red-headed Whip Snake Coluber rubriceps

Eirenis decemlineata

Eirenis levantinus

Asia Minor Dwarf Racer Eirenis modestus

Transcaucasian Rat Snake Elaphe hohenackeri

Montpellier Snake Malpolon monspesslanus

Dice Snake Natrix tessellata

European Tiger Snake Telescopus fallaxCobras

Black Desert Cobra Walterinnesia aegyptiaBurrowing Asps

Atractaspis engaddensis

Müller's Two-headed Snake Micrelaps muelleriVipers and Pit Vipers

Lebanon Viper Macrovipera bornmuelleri

Levant Viper Macrovipera lebetina

Sand Viper Vipera ammodytes

Palestine Viper Vipera palaestinae

Savigny's fringe-fingered lizard

Savigny's fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus savignyi ) is a species of lacertid lizard endemic to western North Africa.

Schreiber's fringe-fingered lizard

Schreiber's fringe-fingered lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi ) is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae.

Yehudah L. Werner

Yehudah Leopold Werner (born 1931 in Munich) is an Israeli herpetologist and Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology).

He and his parents were forced to flee from Nazi Germany in 1933, and reached Palestine via France and England in 1935. Georg Haas (1905–1981), an emigrant from Austria who was Professor in Jerusalem, guided his PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his long scientific career, Werner published more than 400 titles. Among other things, the biology of the geckos, including

their vocal communication, as well as the zoogeography and conservation of the reptiles and amphibians in the Middle East are his main themes. Werner was a co-founder of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and served as chairperson of the Zoological Society of Israel.

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