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Moloch horridus

  • Family: Agamidae
  • Adult Size: 7 to 9 inches snout to tail tip
  • Range: Australia
  • Habitat: Arid areas and deserts
  • Captive Lifespan: Not Applicable
  • Dangerous:
  • Care Level: Not Applicable


Molochs, also called ‘thorny devils’ due to the thick ‘thorns’ adorning their bodies, are exceptionally adapted to living in nearly inhospitable, dry places that would cause many herps to shrivel up in desiccation. Although their ‘thorns’ aren’t hard, they help the lizard blend into its environment along with a motley array of reds, oranges, yellows and cream tones.

Ants of a few specific species comprise the entire Moloch diet, with between 1,000 and 2,000 required daily to maintain their health. This is all they eat, so once they are removed from their native haunts, they are doomed to suffer a slow death by starvation. This, and the fact that Australia doesn’t allow export of any of its wildlife, means you’ll never have the chance to even attempt to keep one of these fascinating creatures.

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