Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Green Crested Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6


Family : Agamidae
Species : Bronchocela cristatella
Size (snout to vent) : 12 cm
Size (total length) : 55 cm

A stunning species, the Green Crested Lizard inhabits primary and secondary forest, but can also be found in disturbed areas and parklands. The body colour is bright green, sometimes with a bluish tinge on the head. When threatened or aroused the body colour can become more brown. Males have an attractive neck crest. The tail makes up over 75 percent of its total length.

This lizard is known to occur in Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, various islands of the Philippines (from Luzon in the north to Mindanao and Palawan in the south),  Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and other parts of Eastern Indonesia, and Java. It is absent from Bali.

In Singapore its abundance is in decline, possibly due to competition from the introduced Changeable Lizard Calotes versicolor.

Fig 1 : Specimen from Singapore's central forests showing great agility in clinging to vegetation with slender fingers and toes.

Fig 2 : The brown colour of this specimen from Singapore's central forests indicates that it is stressed for some reason.

Fig 3 : Specimen from Semenggoh Forest, Sarawak, Borneo.

Fig 4 : Searching for insects on the rotting trunk of a dying tree, Singapore. Note the extremely long tail.

Fig 5 : Specimen from Temenggor Lake, northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 6 : Specimen from Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo.

References : H1, H2, H13