Thorny Devil Facts and Information

Moloch horridus

Introduction to Thorny Devil

The Thorny Devil is a species of Lizard that has very thick horns all over it. This is often seen as an evil type of Lizard in many cultures due to the physical appearance of it. In the past it has been killed due to it being seen as a terrible omen for one to scurry in front of you. In spite of such legends though they remain in the wild in high enough numbers that they aren’t at risk of extinction.

Thorny Devil Description

The Thorny Devil is about 8 inches in length and very bulky. The body is a sand color with various shades of brown and tan. The coloring often depends on the habitat they are in so that they are easily able to blend into their surroundings. They are pale in color when they are warm enough and they get darker as they get cooler.

Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Suborder Lacertilia
Family Agamidae
Subfamily Agaminae
Genus Moloch

They have a body that is covered with thorns and spikes which allows this species of Lizard to be protected against various types of enemies and predators. It moves very slowly and it can also go into a freeze mode where it will stand still for hours at a time and try to blend into the surroundings – even when it is out in the open.

The back of the Thorny Devil looks like a second head too. This helps to prevent predators from getting it from behind. The look is confusing but it certainly is valuable for the protection of this Lizard in the wild.

Thorny Devil Distribution

Australia is where you will find the Thorny Devil Lizard living. The desert is where you will mainly find them thriving. They like the heat and the sand in the desert allows them to stay well blended into their environment.

Thorny Devil Behavior

The Thorny Devil is often seen standing in water but not really drinking it. Experts believe that the design of the body allow it to simply absorb water from all areas of the body. This is a great way for it to store up the water to use later. When it is extremely hot they are able to excrete salt so that they can retain their water.

Thorny Devil Facts

Thorny Devil – Moloch Horridus

Thorny Devil Feeding

The Thorny Devil has a hearty appetite and can quickly consume thousands of ants per day. They tend to move to a location where they are able to just open their mouth and the ants will go marching right in. They don’t have to go to great lengths in order to be able to successfully find their food.

Thorny Devil Reproduction

Mating for the Thorny Devil takes place in July and August. The males are aggressive with each other so that they have the ability to mate with available females. She will give off more scent and that brings the males her direction. After mating he will leave with the intent of finding more females.

She will start looking around for a great place to put those eggs. She needs them to stay warm and she wants to keep predators away from them. The eggs will be placed into the nest in November and December. The female will lay from 3 to 10 of them at a time. She will try to place a layer of sand on them so that they aren’t found by predators before she leaves them to their fate.

They will remain there for a period of time from 3 to 4 months. When they are born she will be long gone and they are on their own. Due to the design of the Thorny Devil they are less likely to be taken by predators when they are young than is the case with other species of Lizards.

Thorny Devil Information

Thorny Devil Observing – Lizard Facts and Information


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