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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Cladus: Unidentata Episquamata

Subordo: Lacertoidea
Infraordo: Lacertibaenia

Familia: Lacertidae
Subfamilia: Lacertinae
Genus: Acanthodactylus
Species (45): A. aegyptius – A. ahmaddisii – A. arabicus – A. aureus – A. bedriagai – A. beershebensis – A. blanci – A. blanfordii – A. boskianus – A. boueti – A. busacki – A. cantoris – A. dumerilii – A. erythrurus – A. felicis – A. gongrorhynchatus – A. grandis – A. guineensis – A. haasi – A. hardyi – A. harranensis – A. ilgazi – A. khamirensis – A. lacrymae – A. longipes – A. maculatus – A. margaritae – A. masirae – A. micropholis – A. montanus – A. nilsoni – A. opheodurus – A. orientalis – A. pardalis – A. robustus – A. savignyi – A. schmidti – A. schreiberi – A. scutellatus – A. spinicauda – A. taghitensis – A. tilburyi – A. tristrami – A. yemenicus – A. zagrosicus

Acanthodactylus Fitzinger in Wiegmann, 1834: 10

Type species: Lacerta boskiana Lichtenstein, 1823, by monotypy.

Primary references

Wiegmann, A.F.A. 1834. Herpetologia mexicana, seu Descriptio amphibiorum Novae Hispaniae quae itineribus comitis De Sack, Ferdinandi Deppe et Chr. Guil. Schiede in Museum zoologicum Berolinense pervenerunt. Pars prima saurorum species amplectens, adjecto systematis saurorum prodromo, additisque multis in hunc amphibiorum ordinem observationibus. C. G. Luderitz: Berolini. i–vi, 54 pp., pls. I–X. BHL

Additional references

Heidari, N., Rastegar-Pouyani, N., Rastegar-Pouyani, E. & Rajabizadeh, M. 2013. A new species of Acanthodactylus Fitzinger 1834 (Sauria: Lacertidae) from southern Iran. Zootaxa 3722(3): 333–346. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3722.3.3 Paywall Reference page.
Tamar, K., Carranza, S., Sindaco, R., Moravec, J., Trape, J.-F. & Meiri, S. 2016. Out of Africa: Phylogeny and biogeography of the widespread genus Acanthodactylus (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 6–18. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.07.003 Reference page.
Tamar, K., Geniez, P., Brito, J.C. & Crochet, P-A. 2017. Systematic revision of Acanthodactylus busacki (Squamata: Lacertidae) with a description of a new species from Morocco. Zootaxa 4276(3): 357–386. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4276.3.3 Paywall Reference page.
Miralles, A., Geniez, P., Beddek, M., Aranda, D.M., Brito, J.C., Leblois, R. & Crochet, P.-A. 2020. Morphology and multilocus phylogeny of the Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus) complex reveal two new mountain species from the Moroccan Atlas. Zootaxa 4747(2): 302–326. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4747.2.4 Paywall Reference page.
Kurnaz, M. & Şahin, M.K. 2021. Contribution to the taxonomic knowledge of Acanthodactylus (Squamata, Lacertidae): Description of a new lacertid lizard species from Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity 5(3): 100–119. DOI: 10.22120/jwb.2021.523523.1214 Open access Reference page.
Mozaffari, O., Mohammadi, S., Saberi-Pirooz, R. & Ahmadzadeh, F. 2021. A new species of Acanthodactylus Fitzinger, 1834 (Sauria: Lacertidae) from the Zagros Mountains, Iran. Zootaxa 5047(1): 17–32. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5047.1.2 Paywall Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2023. Acanthodactylus . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 22 October 2017.

Vernacular names
English: Fringe-fingered Lizards
Nederlands: Franjeteenhagedissen

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.
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.[citation needed]

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

Lacking occipital scales,
Flat ventral scales,
Fingers with three or four series of scales,
Toes with comb-like projections,
Femoral pores present,
Parietal foramen present.

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]

Acanthodactylus aegyptius S. Baha El Din, 2007
Acanthodactylus ahmaddisii Y. Werner, 2004
Acanthodactylus arabicus Boulenger, 1918 - Arabian fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus aureus Günther, 1903 - golden fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus bedriagai Lataste, 1881 – Bedriaga's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus beershebensis Moravec et al., 1999 – Be'er Sheva fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus blanci Doumergue, 1901 – Blanc's fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus blanfordii Boulenger, 1918 – Blanford's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus boskianus (Daudin, 1802) – Bosc's fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus boueti Chabanaud, 1917 – Chabanaud's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus busacki Salvador, 1982 – Busack's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus cantoris Günther, 1864 – Indian fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus dumerilii (Milne-Edwards, 1829) – Duméril’s fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus erythrurus (Schinz, 1833) – spiny-footed lizard
Acanthodactylus felicis Arnold, 1980 – cat fringe-fingered lizard, South Arabian fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus gongrorhynchatus Leviton & S.C. Anderson, 1967 – Saudi fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus grandis Boulenger, 1909 – giant fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus guineensis (Boulenger, 1887) – Guinea fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus haasi Leviton & S.C. Anderson, 1967 – Haas's fringe-fingered lizard, Haas's fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus hardyi Haas, 1957 – Hardy’s fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus harranensis Baran et al., 2005 – Harran fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus ilgazi Kurnaz & Şahin, 2021
Acanthodactylus khamirensis Heidari et al., 2013
Acanthodactylus lacrymae Miralles et al., 2020
Acanthodactylus longipes Boulenger, 1918 - Miralleslong fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus maculatus (Gray, 1838) – spotted fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus margaritae Tamar, Geniez, Brito, & Crochet, 2017
Acanthodactylus masirae Arnold, 1980 - Masira fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus micropholis Blanford, 1874 - yellowtail fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus montanus Miralles et al., 2020
Acanthodactylus nilsoni Rastegar-Pouyani, 1998 - Nilson's spiny-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus opheodurus Arnold, 1980 - Arnold's fringe-fingered lizard, snake-tailed fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus orientalis Angel, 1936
Acanthodactylus pardalis (Lichtenstein, 1823) – leopard fringe-fingered lizard, Egyptian fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus robustus F. Werner, 1929 - robust fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus savignyi (Audouin, 1809) – Savigny's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus schmidti Haas, 1957 - Schmidt's fringe-fingered lizard, Schmidt's fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus schreiberi Boulenger, 1878 – Schreiber's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus scutellatus (Audouin, 1827) -Nidua fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus spinicauda Doumergue, 1901 – Doumergue's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus taghitensis Geniez & Foucart, 1995
Acanthodactylus tilburyi Arnold, 1986 - Tilbury's fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus tristrami (Günther, 1864) - Lebanon fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus yemenicus Salvador, 1982 - Yemen fringe-fingered lizard
Acanthodactylus zagrosicus Mozaffari, Mohammadi, Saberi-Pirooz & Ahmadzadeh, 2021 - Zagrosian fringe-fingered lizard

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

"Acanthodactylus ". ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).
Salvador A (1982). "A revision of the lizards of the genus Acanthodactylus (Sauria: Lacertidae)". Bonn. Zool. Monogr. (16): 1–167.

"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).

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