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Photos of UAE reptiles and amphibians


There are 56 species of terrestrial reptiles known to occur in UAE. 

The common names of many of the species have multiple synonyms and should not be used when referring to a species.
In some cases over the last 10 years, the scientific names have changed (for example Agama flavimaculata has become Trapelus flavimaculatus).

Update 17 Sep 2022: Smugmug, the host of our photos, have corrupted some of the links below. If you click on a species, and a broken link appear, please go directly to the Reptiles & Amphibian page by clicking here


Arabian Toad-headed Agama, Phrynocephalus arabicus -  video

Spotted Toad-headed Agama, Phrynocephalus maculatus


Yellow-spotted Agama, Trapelus flavimaculatus


Sinai Agama, Pseudotrapelus sinaitus


Spiny-tailed Lizard, Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis
- all Uromastyx south of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain road should be this species.


Leptien's Spiny-tailed Lizard, Uromastyx leptieni
- all Uromastyx north of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain road should be this species.


Gallagher’s Leaf-toed Gecko, Asaccus gallagheri
- Widespread in mountains from Musandam through the Hajar Mountains to central Oman.


Three new Asaccus species described, previously classified as Asaccus caudivolvulus

Emirati Leaf-toed Gecko, Asaccus caudivolvulus
- Known from only two localities along the East Coast of the UAE at the beach since it was first described in 1994 by Nick Arnold and Drew Gardner. Unfortunately, both these localities are threatened by development.


Gardner’s Leaf-toed Gecko, Asaccus gardneri
- the largest of the three species and which were previously referred toas Asaccus caudivolvulus, are more widespread throughout the northern Hajar mountains.


Margarita’s Leaf-toed Gecko, Asaccus margaritae
- is the smallest of the three and appears to be separated from the others species by altitude, both in the northern and southern parts of the Hajar mountains in the UAE.


Rough-tailed Bowfoot Gecko, Cyrtopodion scabrum
- Usually found in disturbed habitat such as towns, oil camps and desert farms.


Banded Ground Gecko, Bunopus spatalurus hajarensis
- Found in the mountains and gravel outwash plains.


Baluch Ground Gecko, Bunopus tuberculatus
- Abundant and widespread species of vegetated sandy plains and coastal habitats.


Yellow-bellied House Gecko, Hemidactylus flaviviridis
- Probably the most familiar gecko as it lives in close proximity with man.


Persian Leaf-toed Gecko, Hemidactylus persicus
- Recorded Qarn Nazwa only, where common.


Heyden's Gecko, Hemidactylus robustus
- Occupies a wide range of habitats from the rough bark of desert ghaf trees and rocky outcrops to the date palms on city streets and house walls.


Bar-tailed Semaphore Gecko, Pristurus celerrimus
- Large, up to 40 mm in lenght and active by day. Found in the Hajar Mountains and abundant in the limestone mountains of Ru’us al-Jibal (Musandam).


Least Semaphore Gecko, Pristurus minimus
- Up to 27 mm in lenght, lives on the sand and gravel outwash plains and on the coastal plains of the eastern UAE. It was discovered in the UAE in 1989, lives within clumps of vegetation and is easily missed.


Rock Semaphore Gecko, Pristurus rupestris
- The most common Pristurus and active by day. Found in the mountains and other rocky areas, and in cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, often found on walls and in gardens.


Carter's Semaphore Gecko, Pristurus carteri
- Discovered east of Jebel Hafit in 2009 (Dr. Drew Gardner pers comm).


Fan-footed Gecko, Ptyodactylus hasselquistii
- Fairly common in the mountains; during daytime often found together in caves, deeply-shaded overhangs and ruined buildings.


Arabian Sand Gecko, Stenodactylus arabicus
- Another soft sand dweller up to 40 mm in lenght.


Dune Sand Gecko, Stenodactylus doriae
- A large species up to 83 mm in lenght living on fine, wind-blown sands where they walk slowly at night.


Gulf Sand Gecko, Stenodactylus khobarensis
- Found in sabhkas.


Eastern Sand Gecko, Stenodactylus leptocosymbotes
- Found on gravel plains.


Slevin's Sand Gecko, Stenodactylus slevini
- Looks very similar to the Dune Sand Gecko but has a chevron mark on the back of the head. Prefers firmer sandy plains.


Persian Wonder Gecko, Teratoscincus keyserlingii
- Arguably the most beautiful gecko in the UAE, rare and nocturnal in the northern parts of the UAE in areas of low, undulating sand dunes and coastal gravel plains.


Striped Sand Lizard, Acanthodactylus boskianus


Fringe-toed Lizard, Acanthodactylus gongrorhynchatus


Blanford's fringe-toed Lizard, Acanthodactylus blanfordii
- only found on the sanddune at Khor Kalba.


Schmidt's fringe-toed (White-spotted) Lizard, Acanthodactylus schmidti


Haas’s Spiny-footed Lizard, Acanthodactylus haasi


Spiny-footed Lizard, Acanthodactylus opheodurus


Blue-tailed Oman Lizard, Omanosaura cyanura


Jayakar’s Oman Lizard, Omanosaura jayakari


Desert Race-runner, Mesalina adramitana


Short-snouted Lizard, Mesalina brevirostris


Snake-eyed Skink, Ablepharus pannonicus


Ocellated Skink, Chalcides ocellatus

Tesselated Mabuya, Mabuya tessellata


Eastern Sand Skink, Scincus mitranus


Common Skink, Scincus scincus conirostris


Golden Grass Skink, Trachlepis septetaeniata
Only known from Jernain Island, and one record Al Qua'a Fodder Field 15 Nov 2011.

Desert Monitor, Varanus griseus
- Fairly common and widespread, most often seen morning and afternoons.

Zarudny’s Worm Lizard, Diplometopon zarudnyi


Hook-nosed Thread Snake, Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus


Flowerpot Snake, Rhamphotyphlops braminus


Jayakar's Sand Boa, Eryx jayakari


Rat Snake, Platyceps ventromaculatus


Wadi Racer, Platyceps rhodorachis


Leaf-nosed Snake, Lytorhynchus diadema


Hooded Malpolon, Malpolon moilensis


Schokari Sand Racer, Psammophis schokari


Arabian Cat Snake, Telescopus dhara


Clifford's Diadem Snake, Spalerosophis diademaFirst record in the UAE was in 1971 from Tayyibah north of Masafi. Not uncommon around Jebel Hafit.

Arabian Horned Viper, Cerastes gasperettii


Persian Horned Viper, Pseudocerastes persicus


Saw-scaled Viper, Echis carinatus


Oman Saw-scaled Viper, Echis omanensis

Sea snakes:
Arabian Gulf Sea Snake, Hydrophis lapemoides

Hydrophis spiralis

Ornate Reef Sea Snake, Hydrophis ornatus

Yellow-bellied Pelagic Sea Snake, Hydrophis platurus

Un-identified sea snakes



The Amphibians of the UAE

There are only 2 species of amphibians recorded in The UAE. The Dhofar toad, Bufo dhufarensis has been recorded around plantations in the Al Ain area, although it is possible that they may occur within some of the permanent, inaccessible water pools on Jebel Hafeet.

Arabian Toad, Bufo arabicus


Dhofar Toad, Bufo dhufarensis

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