Thorny Devil

Found only on mainland Australia!
Thorny Devil Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Moloch horridus
Thorny Devil Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red
12-20 years
Top speed
37 mph
70-95g (2.5-3.4oz)
Thorny Devil Distribition

The thorny devil is covered in thorny spikes that make it appear like a mini dragon.

A little lizard belonging to Australia, the thorny devil is recognized by numerous other names like thorny dragon, moloch, and hill devil. It’s primarily energetic throughout the day and can alter shades to mix right into its setting. As daunting as it looks, the thorny devil is in fact a slow-moving- relocating lizard that primarily consumes ants. It has a “phony head” behind its neck that functions as a method to misleadpredators Thorny adversaries sporting activity a distinct stride, which is sluggish and stopping with their tails directly airborne.

5 Extraordinary Thorny Devil Truths!

  • The names for the thorny devil show its challenging appearance, including its scientific name Moloch, which was an old god illustrated as an awful monster.
  • These lizards can smoke out their breasts to look larger and make themselves harder to eat as a result of all their spinal columns.
  • The animal consumes regarding 750 ants each day, however it can consuming as lots of as 3,000 ants in eventually.
  • Thorny adversaries have an unusual stride where they ice up and shake in jerky motions. They might ice up midstep to shake off predators.
  • The jagged ranges on the thorny devil aren’t simply for security. They additionally offer to transport water to the lizard’s mouth.

Thorny Devil Scientific name

The scientific name of the thorny devil is Moloch horridus The lizard comes from the kingdom Animalia, the phylum Chordata, the class Reptilia, the order Squamata, the suborder Iguania, the family Agamidae, the subfamily Amphibolurinae and the genus Moloch The name Moloch horridus originates from the Canaanite devil god called Moloch, and horridus, which indicates terrible or thorny. The name is associated with the thorny devil’s enforcing inhuman appearance with spinal columns and spikes throughout its body. The thorny devil has a variety of various other labels, consisting of the following:

  • Devil lizard
  • Horned lizard
  • Thorny toad
  • Hill devil
  • Thorny dragon
  • Thorny lizard
  • Moloch

Thorny Devil Appearance

The lizard’s distinct appearance most definitely makes it stand apart, however it’s additionally an adjustment. The lizards are covered with huge spinal columns throughout their bodies. The spikes are mainly boneless, with the exception of on the lizard’s head. The thorny devil isn’t a huge lizard, nevertheless. It matures to around 8 inches complete, consisting of the tail. Females are bigger than males. An additional distinct element of their appearance is its capability to alter shade to match its environment and also the moment of day. In the early mornings when temperature levels are cooler, the animal has brownish or olive skin. They lighten yellow as the temperature level obtains greater in the mid-day. The thorny devil’s appearance is primarily to assimilate with its setting and fend off predators.

Spiny Thorny Devil lizard sitting on a red dirt ants nest
Leith Holtzman/

Thorny Devil Habits

These animals are energetic in a series of temperature levels in their indigenous environment. They are one of the most energetic in between March and May, and August with December. They go nearly entirely non-active in between January and February when the temperature levels are the highest possible, and additionally throughout June and July when temperature levels are the chilliest. Throughout these times, the lizard will certainly dig burrows in the ground and conceal. When the animal is energetic, its day-to-day regimen is to arise from its bush relaxing area and cozy itself on the sand. Thorny adversaries wander a little location to eat ants and excrete. They wander additionally when they are trying to find friends. The lizards stroll with a distinct sluggish, halting stride. The animal is mainly singular, and they are not especially territorial so their area might overlap with various other lizards.

Thorny Devil Environment

Australia’s Great Sandy Desert indoor gives the indigenous environment for the lizard. They can be discovered in sandy deserts and scrub with sandy dirt. They are just discovered in locations with substantial sandy dirt. They do not such as locations with rough or difficult dirt. The lizard has distinct physical attributes that allow it to endure in the dry components of Australia. Wetness- bring in grooves in between the lizard’s ranges can transport any type of trace element of water to their mouths. This indicates that also simply accumulated dew from over night or on plant life can offer water for the animal. In severe scenarios, the lizard can additionally hide itself in the sand to attract dampness to its ranges.

Thorny Devil Diet

The animal primarily consumes ants. The spinifex and rainbow ant are 2 favored ant species. The lizard isn’t a specifically energetic killer. It generally rests and waits on ants to cross its course and afterwards washes them up with its sticky tongue. They just feed in temperature levels over 75 levels Fahrenheit. Relying on the moment of year, this may suggest just in the early morning or in the mid-day. The lizard can eat hundreds of ants in eventually, however the ordinary quantity has to do with 750 ants each day.

What consumes thorny devils?

Birds of victim and goannas are all-natural predators of the animal.

What does a thorny devil eat?

These lizards are predators and particularly, insectivores. They primarily eat ants and may eat hundreds of ants in a solitary day.

Thorny Devil Predators and risks

The major predators of these animals are Australian bustards, black- breasted bustards, goanna lizards, and humans. It’s additionally feasible that dingos, foxes, and snakes may attempt to eat them. Nevertheless, these lizards are difficult to see as a result of their all-natural camouflage and spiny skin. They relocate gradually with jerky motions, and they will certainly ice up entirely motionless when they pick up a hazard. This makes them rather unappealing victim. The major risk to these lizards is the loss of their ant food resource. This is feasible in locations where humans eliminate ants as parasites. Nevertheless, these animals presently have a conservation status of least concern, which indicates that they are not encountering any type of substantial risk to their environment or populace.

Thorny Devil Reproduction, Infants, and Life-span

The breeding actions of the thorny devil is not well- recognized. Restricted monitoring reveals that males look for females and will certainly mate if the female is responsive. The thorny devil generally friends and lays eggs in the late winter months right into the very early summer season. Females lay their eggs in burrows. These burrows are various from the typical burrows utilized by the lizard. They are generally explored sand ridges that encounter southern. The females lay in between 3 and 10 eggs with approximately 8. The eggs are nurtured for a duration in between 90 and 132 days. The children eat their very own egg cases prior to leaving the burrow.

Thorny adversaries normally live in between 6 and twenty years in the wild.

Thorny Devil Populace

There is no verified populace information for these lizards. The IUCN discovers that the lizard is extremely usual in its neighborhood environment, however there is no solid populace quote. Thorny adversaries encounter no severe risks to their environment or numbers, and their preservation is noted as the least concern.


  1. Bush Heritage, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. Animal Diversity Web, Available here:
  4. Animalia, Available here:
  5. Reptiles, Available here:
  6. Fact Animal, Available here:

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