Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802)
Changeable Lizard 變色樹蜥

Calotes versicolor
Squamata 有鱗目
Lacertilia 蜥蜴亞目
Family Agamidae 鬣蜥科
Genus Calotes 樹蜥屬
Species Calotes versicolor
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.
Prefers dry, open shrubland and edges of cultivated fields.
Scarce in dense forest; possibly absent in mountain grassland.

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)
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