Africa Wild Reptile Book: Lizards - Photos & Descriptions

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:17 pm

Order: Squamata (Lizards & Snakes)
Suborder: Lacertilia (Lizards)
Lizards, Monitor Lizards, Agamas, Chameleons, Geckoes, Skinks, Worm Lizards, Blind Lizards



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All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.

Index to Lizards

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:22 pm

Lizard taxa (classification according to Reptile Database)

Infraorder Iguania

Family: Agamidae (Agamas)
Acanthocercus atricollis atricollis, Agama atricollis Blue-headed Tree Agama, Southern Tree Agama viewtopic.php?p=78936#p78936
Agama aculeata aculeata Common Ground Agama viewtopic.php?p=78991#p78991
Agama aculeata distanti Distant's Ground Agama viewtopic.php?p=79380#p79380
Agama atra Southern Rock Agama viewtopic.php?p=250381#p250381
Agama hispida Southern Spiny Agama viewtopic.php?p=79382#p79382
Agama knobeli Knobel's Rock Agama viewtopic.php?p=79405#p79405
Agama planiceps Namibian Rock Agama viewtopic.php?p=79406#p79406

Family: Chamaeleonidae (Chameleons)
Bradypodion ventrale Eastern Cape Dwarf Chameleon, Southern Dwarf Chameleon viewtopic.php?p=79432#p79432
Chamaeleo dilepis Flap-necked Chameleon viewtopic.php?p=80028#p80028
Chamaeleo namaquensis Namaqua Chameleon viewtopic.php?p=80233#p80233


Infraorder Gekkota

Family: Geckonidae (Geckos)
Condrodactylus bibronii, Pachydactylus bibronii Bibron's Thick-toed Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80431#p80431
Chondrodactylus turneri, Pachydactylus turneri Turner's Thick-toed Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80456#p80456
Hemidactylus mabouia Common Tropical House Gecko, Moreau’s Tropical House Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80518#p80518
Homopholis walbergii Wahlberg's Velvet Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80521#p80521
Lygodactylus bradfieldi Bradfield's Dwarf Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80565#p80565
Lygodactylus capensis capensis Cape Dwarf Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80567#p80567
Lygodactylus chobiensis Chobe Dwarf Gecko, Okavango Dwarf Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80568#p80568
Lygodactylus stevensoni Stevenson's Dwarf Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80570#p80570
Ptenopus garrulus Common Barking Gecko viewtopic.php?p=80571#p80571


Infraorder Scincomorpha

Family: Cordylidae (Spinytail Lizards)
Subfamily Platysaurinae
Chamaesaura aenea Transvaal Grass Lizard viewtopic.php?p=80608#p80608
Platysaurus attenboroughi Attenborough’s Flat Lizard viewtopic.php?p=80615#p80615
Platysaurus broadleyi Augrabies Flat Lizard, Broadley's Flat Lizard viewtopic.php?p=80643#p80643
Platysaurus intermedius Common Flat Lizard viewtopic.php?p=80755#p80755
Subfamily Cordylinae
Cordylus cordylus Cape Girdled Lizard viewtopic.php?p=81130#p81130
Cordylus jonesii Limpopo Girdled Lizard viewtopic.php?p=81324#p81324
Cordylus niger Black Girdled Lizard viewtopic.php?p=84555#p84555
Karusasaurus polyzonus, Cordylus polyzonus Karoo Girdled Lizard viewtopic.php?p=84567#p84567
Pseudocordylus melanotus subviridis, Pseudocordylus subviridis Drakensberg Crag Lizard viewtopic.php?p=86929#p86929
Pseudocordylus microlepidotus microlepidotus Cape Crag Lizard viewtopic.php?p=87231#p87231

Family: Gerrhosauridae (Plated Lizards)
Cordylosaurus subtessellatus Dwarf Plated Lizard, Blue-black Plated Sand Lizard viewtopic.php?p=100358#p100358
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis Yellow-throated Plated Lizard viewtopic.php?p=116551#p116551
Gerrhosaurus major Rough-scaled Plated Lizard, Sudan Plated Lizard viewtopic.php?p=141902#p141902
Metabosaurus validus Common Giant Plated Lizard viewtopic.php?p=158082#p158082

Family: Lacertidae (Lacertids, Wall Lizards)
Heliobolus lugubris Bushveld Lizard viewtopic.php?p=159369#p159369
Meroles cuneirostris Wedge-snouted Desert Lizard viewtopic.php?p=159382#p159382
Nucras holubi Holub's Sandveld Lizard viewtopic.php?p=163393#p163393
Nucras tessellata Western Sandveld Lizard viewtopic.php?p=168672#p168672
Pedioplanis lineoocelata lineoocelata Spotted Sand Lizard viewtopic.php?p=172600#p172600
Pedioplanis namaquensis Namaqua Sand Lizard viewtopic.php?p=178866#p178866

Family: Scincidae (Skinks)
Subfamily Acontinae (Limbless Skinks)
Acontias plumbeus Giant Legless Skink viewtopic.php?p=197588#p197588
Subfamily Lygosominae (Skinks)
Trachylepis homalocephala Red-sided Skink viewtopic.php?p=212308#p212308
Trachylepis margaritifera Rainbow Skink viewtopic.php?p=238348#p238348
Trachylepis occidentalis Western Three-striped Skink viewtopic.php?p=242706#p242706
Trachylepis sparsa Karasburg Tree Skink viewtopic.php?p=251970#p251970
Trachylepis spilogaster Kalahari Tree Skink viewtopic.php?p=326674#p326674
Trachylepis striata Eastern Striped Skink viewtopic.php?p=326675#p326675
Trachylepis sulcata Western Rock Skink viewtopic.php?p=326684#p326684
Trachylepis varia Variable Skink viewtopic.php?p=326693#p326693
Trachylepis variegata Variegated Skink viewtopic.php?p=326695#p326695


Infraorder Platynota (Varanoidea)

Family: Varanidae (Monitor Lizards)
Varanus albigularis Rock Monitor viewtopic.php?p=326696#p326696
Varanus niloticus Nile Monitor (Water Monitor) viewtopic.php?p=326697#p326697

Family Agamidae

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:31 pm

Agamidae is a family of over 300 species of iguanian lizards indigenous to Africa, Asia, Australia, and a few in Southern Europe. Many species are commonly called dragons or dragon lizards.

Phylogenetically, they may be sister to the Iguanidae, and have a similar appearance. Agamids usually have well-developed, strong legs. Their tails cannot be shed and regenerated like those of geckos, though a certain amount of regeneration is observed in some. Many agamid species are capable of limited change of their colours to regulate their body temperature. In some species, males are more brightly coloured than females, and colours play a part in signaling and reproductive behaviours. Although agamids generally inhabit warm environments, ranging from hot deserts to tropical rainforests.

South African species are moderate-sized, but elsewhere species can be more than one meter in total length. They are diurnal and primarily terrestrial. Agamas are short-bodied lizards, with a triangular head and large eyes with round pupils. Like chameleons, most have the ability to change colour. Two fanglike teeth are found in the upper jaw and they can inflict a painful bite. Agamas are mainly egg-laying (oviparous). In some species, the sex of the young may be determined by the egg incubation temperature. There are six species in South Africa .

Africa Wild Reptile Book: Lizards - Photos & Descriptions

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:32 pm

Southern Tree Agama, Blue-headed Tree Agama Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama Atricollis (Bloukopkogelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Image
Male

Image

Image

Description
Their main colouration is grey/brown. Adult males can reach up to 20cm head to tail, with the tail making up more than half that length. Males tend to be larger than females with a large triangular head. The ear openings are larger than the eyes, and the tympanums (eardrums) are visible. Their bodies are compact and spiny. The scales on the body are small and keeled, with those along the back larger and mixed with scattered, enlarged, spiny scales.
Breeding males have a dull blue to bluish back, with bright blue to straw-yellow spines. The head is a coppery-green to brilliant ultramarine on top, blue-green on the sides and peacock-blue on the throat. There is a large black spot on each side above the shoulder, and a broad, blue-green to yellowish stripe down the back. The tail is dull green to olive-brown. They display a blue head during the breeding season, when feeding and during the hottest times of the day.
Females and non-breeding males are olive to green-brown, with black marbling above, with a black shoulder spot,the pattern on their backs being very distinctive. Juveniles have a similar ground color, with dark X-shapes surrounded by white blotches along the sides. The tail is banded with dark brown-black.

Distribution
It is found from Eritrea, south through East Africa to coastal KwaZulu-Natal, eastern Botswana and northern Namibia. The western limit of the distribution is the western DRC.

Image

Habitat
Open savanna and along the edges of forests.

Behaviour
Most Agamas are terrestrial, but this species is arboreal. They come to ground only to move to another tree, and occasionally to feed. They require the heat of the day to be able to move about so you will find them basking in the cooler times of the day. They are often seen nodding their heads in display while clinging to a tree trunk. Unlike other agamas this species is arboreal. When threatened, they retreat around the tree trunk, always kepping it between themselves and danger. They will open the mouth widely, showing the bright orange mouth lining and will deliver a painful bite if caught. Contrary to popular belief they are not venomous. They sleep in a hollow branch or under peeling bark. They shed every few months.

Diet
A generalized ambush predator, mainly insectivorous, but may eat grass, berries, seeds and the eggs of other smaller lizards.

Predators
Recorded as prey of African goshawk.

Reproduction
Polygamous. Males may have 6 or more females in their territory for breeding. 8-14 oval, soft-shelled eggs are laid in a hole in moist soil. They hatch after about 90 days. They hatch after about 90 days. Hatchlings measure 7-8cm. They triple in size in their first year, but growth slows thereafter. They become sexually mature in their second year.

Image © BluTuna
Female in Kruger National Park

Image © Toko
Swaziland

Image © JustN@ture
Female in Kruger National Park

Image © BluTuna
Male, Kruger National Park

Africa Wild Reptile Book: Lizards - Photos & Descriptions

Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:01 am

Common Ground Agama Agama aculeata aculeata
Family: Agamidae

Image © Lisbeth
Breeding male

Image © Lisbeth
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Size
A medium-sized lizard, Snout-to-vent length 75 to 100 mm. Max SVL 117 mm for males, 106 mm for females.

Description
The ground agama has a triangular head with a rounded snout. Earhole is relatively large. The tail is shorter in the female than in the male, but in both sexes the tail is usually longer than the head and body. It has regular rows of enlarged spines on the back. The body is olive to reddish-brown, often with a distinct grey-yellow dorsal streak usually with a thin central black line. The belly is creamy-white to pale dirty pink. The head of this species turns bright blue on the sides during the breeding season.
Distinguished by smooth dorsal shields and fourth toe being longer than third.
Scalation: 75-115 rows at midbody; ventral scalation smooth; dorsal head scales overlap towards snout.

Geographical distribution
Agama aculeata is found in most of sub-Saharan Africa: Namibia (absent from the Namib Desert), Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, southern Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland.
Agama aculeata disianti occurs on the high veld of the Free State and Transvaal and into Zimbabwe, Agama aculeata aculeata occurs in the Kalahari, Naniaqualand and the Karroo.

Image
Distribution map for Agama aculeata aculeata

Habitat
Semi-desert, semi-arid areas and sandveld savannah.

Behaviour
Shy and solitary. Despite the name, they are known to climb into low shrub to bask and dig a small hole in loose soil at the base of a bush to rest or hide. They are solitary creatures. Ground agamas run as fast as they can with their tails curved upwards when disturbed, stopping suddenly to hug the ground in the hope their natural camouflage tricks chasing predators.

Diet
Ants or termites ambushed in lines coming and going from their nests.

Predators
Potential predators are birds of prey.

Reproduction
Monogamous breeders. In summer, females lay between 8 to 18 eggs in a hole dug in sandy soil, often under a stone or at the base of a bush. Breeding begins in the early summer and a second clutch of eggs is sometimes laid in February.

Image © nan
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Image © Mel

Image © ExFmem

Image Male © PRWIN
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Africa Wild Reptile Book: Lizards - Photos & Descriptions

Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:41 am

Distant's Ground Agama Agama aculeata distanti (Distant se stekel-koggelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Image © Super Mongoose

Image © Super Mongoose
Marakele National Park

Size
Agama aculeata distanti is smaller then A. a. aculeata

Description
Small spiny scales on the head and back, box-shaped head, stubby build and short tail.
Distinguished by smooth dorsal shields and third toe being longer than fourth.

Geographical distribution
Agama aculeata is found in most of sub-Saharan Africa: Namibia (absent from the Namib Desert), Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, southern Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland.
Agama aculeata disianti occurs on the high veld of the Free State and Transvaal and into Zimbabwe, Agama aculeata aculeata occurs in the Kalahari, Naniaqualand and the Karroo.

Image

Habitat
Open grassland. Rocky ridges and slopes.

Africa Wild Reptile Book: Lizards - Photos & Descriptions

Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:41 am

Southern Rock Agama Agama atra (Suidelike Rotskoggelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Image © Mel

Image © Mel
Cape Town

Size
Males attain larger body sizes than females. Maximum snout-vent length is 109 mm for males and 100 mm for females.

Description
The head is short and triangular, the body flattened dorso-ventrally and the limbs well-developed with long toes. The tail is slightly longer than the snout-vent length. The body is covered with small scales. On the dorsal body, enlarged spines occur scattered among the small scales. Clusters of spines also occur around the ear opening. There is a weakly-developed dorsal crest which extends onto the tail. In males the tail is laterally compressed posteriorly and the crest well-developed, while in females the tail is more cylindrical and the crest weakly developed. The eyes are large and bulging like that of a chameleon, with round pupils.
When they are displaying their territorial colours, particularly during the breeding season, adult males are olive-green to red-brown above, with dark maroon to black markings. A distinct whitish to orange-yellow vertebral line extends from the neck to the tip of the tail. The head and forelimbs are blue to a greenish-blue. The throat is intense purple-blue in colour. The tail is grayish-white to yellow, usually with dark cross-bands. Females and non-displaying males are mottled in tan, cream, silvery green, and dark-brown above making them difficult to spot on the lichen-coverd rocks. The belly is off-white and there is a bluish network on the throat. Breeding females may have orange-yellow flanks with scattered red blotches.
Agamas are closely related to chameleons, as is obvious from their ability to change their body colour and from the way they use the tongue in feeding. The tongue is, however, much shorter than that of chameleons.

Geographical distribution
It occurs over the whole of South Africa, with the exception of the sandy areas of the Northern Cape and parts of the Northern Province, Mpumalanga, and Kwazulu-Natal.

Image

Habitat
Succulent Karoo, Nama-Karoo. It is largely dependent on the availability of rocky habitats.

Behaviour
It is diurnal and mainly rock-dwelling. It may form dense colonies and both males and females maintain territories, but those of males are larger and may contain those of several females. A dominant male normally perches on the highest point in its territory and does a characteristic pushup display and head nodding when intruders come too close. When danger threatens it hugs the rock and its bright colours fade quickly so that it becomes camouflaged against the lichen-covered rocks. It can run at great speed over the rocks and also jump from rock to rock. It can inflict a painful bite, drawing blood, because it has two fang-like teeth in the upper jaw.

Diet
Its diet consists mainly of ants and termites, but it will also eat other invertebrates.

Predators
The Agama atras natural predators in the wild include the Fiscal Shrike and various snakes.

Reproduction
It has a polygynous mating system and a dominant male will mate with several females within its territory. Females will mate with any male that gains access. It is oviparous and two clutches of 7-18 oval, soft-shelled eggs are laid in a shallow hole dug in damp soil, the first clutch during October-November and the second in January-February. Incubation takes 2-3 months.

Image © Flutterby
Table Mountain

Re: Lizards - Pics & Descriptions

Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:46 am

Southern Spiny Agama, Common Spiny Agama Agama hispida (Suidelike Stekelkoggelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Size
12-20 cm. A medium-sized agamid with adult snout-vent length of 80-100 mm.

Description
Very similar to ground agama. Earhole smaller and throat dark with irregular pale blotches.
The body is very stout and depressed, covered above with moderately large, strongly keeled scales, intermixed with enlarged spinose scales, which may form indefinite longitudinal rows. Small groups of spinose scales occur on the sides of the neck and behind the ear-openings. A vertebral series of enlarged keeled scales forms a distinct dorsal crest on the nape and back. The ventral scales are also keeled. The limbs are relatively long with enlarged spinose scales above. Males have a single row of 10 preanal glands. In males, the tail is slightly longer than the body, but in females it is slightly shorter.
Breeding males can be green, olive or brown above, more or less uniform or with indistinct darker and lighter variegations. The belly is bluish-grey to turquoise with blue blotches in the gular region. Females and young males are olive to brown above with 4-5 transverse series of large squarish dark spots or crossbands that extend more faintly onto the tail and limbs. The belly is yellow-white to pale green with a dark network on the throat.

Geographic distribution
This species occurs marginally in southern Namibia and in South Africa in the western parts of the Northern and Western Cape. An isolated population occurs in the northwestern Free State.

Image

Habitat
Karoo and Namaqualand. This species inhabits semi-desert, coastal dunes, open sandy veld and arid salt pans. It is often found in old agricultural fields. Specimens take shelter in short tunnels excavated at the bases of bushes in open, sandy vegetation, and frequently use burrows in ground squirrel colonies.

Behaviour
This terrestrial agamid shelters in a short tunnel dug at the base of a bush or may occupy rodent or ground squirrel burrows.
It is shy and runs into burrow when disturbed. It readily climbs onto bushes to bask.

Diet
Ants and beetles are the most important items in its diet. In South Africa, it feeds on beetles, lepidopteran larvae, and centipedes, but termites, ants, and even some vegetation are eaten. In the Kalahari agamid Agama hispida, ants comprise about half the diet.

Reproduction
During the mating season, males display from perches such as low rocks and road verges. Like other South-African agamids, it is oviparous and females lay 7-11 eggs during early summer.

Links: Bill Branch, William R. Branch: A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa

Re: AW Reptile Book: Lizards - Pics & Descriptions

Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:57 am

Knobel's Rock Agama Agama knobeli (Knobel se Rotskoggelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Image
Goegap Nature Reserve, Namaqualand

Image
Female

Size
It grows up to 140 mm without the tail.

Description
The scales on the back are very small. Males have a few enlarged spines. The tail is half as long as the head and body is.
Breeding adult males are olive-green to red-brown above and marbled with dark maroon to black and a few pale spots. The head and fore limbs blue to greenish-blue. The
throat is intense ultramarine to purple-blue coloured with irregular dark stripes that may extend to the belly. The tail is greyish-white to yellow usually with dark cross bands. An orange-yellow to whitish vertebral streak extends from the need to the tip of the tail.
Females and non-breeding males are mottled in tan, cream and dark brown above. They have sometimes red blotches on the flanks. The belly is off-white and there is a bluish network on the threat.

Geographical distribution
It occurs in the northern parts of Namaqualand and southern Namibia.

Image

Habitat
It is largely dependent on the availability of rocky areas.

Behaviour
Both males and females maintain territories. There is always a dominant female and male. A dominant male is nodding with his head to show lesser males a sign to pay respect due and stay clear to him.

Diet
They feed mainly on ants and termites but take also beetles and grasshoppers.

Reproduction
Females lay usually two clutches of 7-18 eggs. The first one in October-November and the second one in January-February.

Re: AW Reptile Book: Lizards - Pics & Descriptions

Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:21 pm

Namibian Rock Agama Agama planiceps (Namibiese rotskoggelmander)
Family: Agamidae

Image
Female (Epupa, north western Namibia)

Size
SVL 80 to 100mm. Max SVL 112mm.

Description
They are large, long-tailed lizards that have a small head with a pointed snout. The body is flattened supported by long limbs and toes and the tail is longer than the head and body combined.
A. planiceps exhibits a striking sexual dimorphism.
Breeding male has metallic dull blue-purple sheen, bright orange-red head, neck and throat. The tail is olive-yellow at the base, which changes to olive-red at the tip.
Females and juveniles are grey to olive with pale blotches, bright orange shoulder blotch and paired lemon blotches on dark head. have a head with light spots on dark base color.

Geographical distribution
Damaraland and Kaokoland in the north-west of Namibia.

Habitat
Namibian rock agamas (Agama planiceps) live in small groups of around 10 on rock outcrops associated with boulder-strewn hills

Behaviour
Agama planiceps is a social species with a polygynous mating system. Territorial males differed in their tolerance towards subordinate males during the breeding season. Soliciting of territorial males by females was observed.

Diet
The diet of the Namibian Rock Agama consists mainly of insects – predominantly ants and termites.
IIt takes also beetles as well as seeds and leaves.

Predators
Predators include rock kestrels and hornbills.

Reproduction
Females lay small clutches of between 5 to 10 eggs in the middle of summer. Eggs are laid in soil beneath a slab of rock or in the cracks and crevices of rocks. Eggs take about two months to hatch.