Mauritania, coastal zone of the Diawling NP. Mali, near Bourem. Niger, Abezou. Algeria, near Tamanrasset, Tagmart-Est and Tin Zaouatine district. Libya, Oase Elbarkat 8 km south of Ghat (terra typica P. zolli) and an Oasis 35 miles to the west of Ajedabia. Egypt, Wadi El Natrun. 


Philochortus zolii  SCORTECCI, 1934


Philochortus lhotei   ANGEL 1936

Common names:

Sahara Orangetail Grass Lizard (English)
Sahara Graseidechse (German)

Terra Typica:

El Barkat (? = Al Birkah) south of Ghat in southwest Libya (near the Algerian border).

Taxonomic notes:

Highly relict distribution. So far only from southwest Libya (surroundings of Ghat), northeast Libya (Agdabya in Cyrenaica), Egypt (Wadi El Natrun), Mauritania (coastal zone of Diawling National Park), Algeria (near Tamanrasset, Tagmart-Est and Tin Zaouatine district) and one location each in Niger and in Mali known. The species is highly endangered at these relict sites due to progressive desertification and conversion of pasture to arable land!

Relevant taxonomic literature:

  • Scortecci, G. (1934) -  Descrizione preliminare di una nuova specie del genere Philochortus (Philochortus zolii) della zona di Gat (Missione della reale Societa Geografica). -  Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, 73: 305-308.  

  • Naia, M. & Sowb, A.S. & Camposa, J. & El Abidine Sidatt, Z. & Brito, J.C. (2021) -  Distribution, ecology, and conservation of Philochortus zolii in Mauritania: implications for the long-term persistence of an endangered lizard.  -  African Journal of Herpetology, (early view) 20 pp.     

  • Haddad, K. & Nemouchi, H. & Benguedouar, B. (2024) -  Second documented observation of the Sahara Orangetail Grass Lizard Philochortus zolii (SCORTECCI, 1934) in Algeria and its new distribution in Africa. -  L@CERTIDAE (Eidechsen Online), 2024 [1]: 1-8.