Family : AGAMIDAE
Species : Calotes versicolor
Size (snout to vent) :10 cm
Size (total length) : 37 cm
This widespread Asian
native can easily be found in parks and gardens, where it feeds on insects
and other prey. Its colour ranges from brownish-buff to greyish, and in the
breeding season the throat of the male becomes red and black, as in the
photo at left. The species is identified by the short crest above the neck,
the presence of small spines above the tympanum and by the lack of a
shoulder fold. The male has swollen cheeks.
Commonly found amongst low
shrubs and bushes, it will also scamper up tree trunks to avoid being
detected. Like many agamids it lays its eggs in a hole in the ground.
The species ranges from
Iran to India, and from southern China down to Thailand. Recently introduced
to Singapore, it appears to have out-competed the native
Green Crested Lizard Bronchocela
cristatella, which now has a restricted range.
Fig 1 : Male in non-breeding colour, Singapore.
Fig 2 : Male in typical breeding colour, with orange head and anterior
part of body, and black marking on the throat. Singapore.
Fig 3 : Female with yellowish-brown colour, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
References : H1, H2