Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella)

Fella here was simply, innocently, sitting there in the sun, and though this was at an aviary, waiting for a bird show to start, I think it was enjoying the attention too. It’s a pretty little thing, this one, a lovely shade of green with a ringed tail and the cutest gait ever (yeah it ran away eventually).

P1010621 edited

On your mark, get set-

The green crested lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) is a member of the agamid, or dragon lizard family. Native to Singapore, it’s unfortunately been rather threatened by the changeable lizard (https://herbalramble.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/changeable-lizard-calotes-versicolor/), which is an introduced species rather efficient at out-competing the indigenous green guys. It’s found throughout Southeast Asia, and even on the Nicobar Islands of India. Interestingly, it’s not always green: the males are capable of changing colour to an attractive chocolate brown or dark grey when threatened or mating. I’d say humans should be glad we don’t do that- very confusing. Distinctive features include their brown ears and a spiny crest at the backs of their necks, and some individuals also have white or blue spots or bars.

Like many lizards, it eats insects, including beetles, flies, and ants. Clearly, to find its food, living in trees isn’t a bad idea (arboreal)-which also explains why it’s pretty much tree-green. It’s active during the day (diurnal), and can grow up to 58cm, although the one I saw was probably no more than 20cm long.

Too bad I didn’t get to give it a nice good photoshoot before it scurried off. Technically, one could have assumed its huge, languid, and obviously rather hot relative was posing on its behalf, but hey, I’m not getting too close to anything that can leave little holes in my fingers. Nope.

P1010616

Talk to the spines.

References

  1. http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/dna/organisms/details/716
  2. http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/lizards/green-crested_lizard.htm
  3. http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/vertebrates/reptilia/cristatella.htm
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agamidae
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronchocela_cristatella
  6. https://florafaunaweb.nparks.gov.sg/Special-Pages/animal-detail.aspx?id=485
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