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Medium-sized lizard, largest Egyptian example with a SVL of 90 mm; average tail/SVL ratio=1.2. Body and head moderately depressed. Gular pouch present, better developed in males. Dorsal scales heterogeneous, small, imbricate, usually strongly keeled, mixed with a few much larger keeled scales; dorsals subequal to ventrals; ventrals smooth. Scales on dorsal surface of tibia usually uniform. Dorsal color sandy gray, back usually with 5 brown transverse bands; all bands are equally strongly denned. Tail barred. Venter white; throat usually with longitudinal dark stripes. Dorsal pattern becomes rather inconspicuous in adult males. In nuptial condition, males acquire a bright blue throat and white-spotted violet-blue flanks, while females retain the normal color and pattern, except that dorsal bands become reddish. Juveniles are sandy gray with a strong dorsal pattern.