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

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

ca. 40. See text.


Geographic rangeEdit

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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]


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


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).[citation needed]


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 readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit