An overview and checklist of the native and alien herpetofauna of the United Arab Emirates

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Herpetological Conservation and Biology


This paper provides an updated checklist of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) native and alien herpetofauna. The UAE, while largely a desert country with a hyper-arid climate, also has a range of more mesic habitats such as islands, mountains, and wadis. As such it has a diverse native herpetofauna of at least 72 species as follows: Two amphibian species (Bufonidae), five marine turtle species (Cheloniidae [four] and Dermochelyidae [one]), 42 lizard species (Agamidae [six], Gekkonidae [19], Lacertidae [10], Scincidae [six], and Varanidae [one]), a single amphisbaenian, and 22 snake species (Leptotyphlopidae [one], Boidae [one], Colubridae [seven], Hydrophiidae [nine], and Viperidae [four]). Additionally, we recorded at least eight alien species, although only the Brahminy Blind Snake (Ramphotyplops braminus) appears to have become naturalized. We also list legislation and international conventions pertinent to the herpetofauna.

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