Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802)
|Other name||Oriental Garden Lizard|
|Chinese name||雞冠蛇, 馬鬃蛇|
|Total length||Total length up to 40 cm; snout-vent length 10 - 12 cm.|
|Description||Dorsum tan or grey, with or without irregular dark crossbar markings or mottling.
Head large and bony. A prominent crest begins at the neck and extends down the body. Crest absent in hatchlings.
Scales strongly keeled except those on top of head.
3-5 dark-coloured streaks fan out from each eye. Underside greyish.
Tail long, whip-like, more than twice the body length; banded with brown.
Adult males have a gular pouch; black and red when in full colour. Females more drab in coloration.
A sun-loving lizard. Often seen basking on shrubs or wall or foraging on the ground.
|Behaviour||Can change body coloration to a certain degree.
Is capable of rotating each eye independently.
When approached, will usually cock an eye at the intruder and eventually scurry up a tree or into a bush.
If caught, will thrash and attempt to bite. Sleeps on vegetation at night.
|Diet||In captivity feeds on crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers and beetles. Will lap up water sprinkled on leaves.|
|Reproduction||Breeds in spring and lays eggs in the soil in summer.
During courtship display males turn their extended gular pouch black-red, and the head and forebody crimson.
Display also includes the male bobbing his head. He may bite the female during pairing, but causes no injury.
Hatchlings some 6 cm in total length.
|Distribution||Common throughout the territory, including all major islands. Recorded up to 920 m.
Very widely distributed from southern Iran eastward to extreme southern China, and southward to Sumatra (Indonesia).
|Conservation Status||IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)|