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Reptiles Guide

Agamas

Central Bearded Dragon

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Agama

 
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Agamidae
Subfamily: Agaminae
Genus: Agama
Species
See text.

Any of various small, long-tailed, insect-eating lizards of the genus Agama. The agamid genus is comprised of at least 31 species across Africa.

One of the best known species is the red-headed rock agama (Agama agama), widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. Its original habitat is the savanna, but today it also lives within villages and towns. These agamas form groups of ten to twenty. The "leader" is an old male, while females and young males constitute the other members of the group. The colour is dark brown at night, but after dawn the colours of the dominant male will change: the body becomes light blue, head and tail bright orange. These colours may change again depending on the dominant male's mood. For instance, if male agamas fight, their heads will turn brown, and white spots appear on their body. Fights take place when a foreign agama male appears. It will try to dispute the leadership of the dominant male. When fighting, agamas hiss and attempt to hit each other's head with their tail. These strokes may be very violent and often result in haematomas or fractured jaws.
The females in the group are entirely brown. Often there is a highest-ranking female that remains in proximity to the leading male and struggles to repel other females.

Species

The following species are classified within the genus Agama:

  • Agama aculeata
    Agama agama (agama lizard)
    Agama anchietae
    Agama armata
    Agama atra
    Agama bocourti
    Agama bottegi
    Agama boueti
    Agama boulengeri
Agama atra, Barrydale, Karoo, South Africa
  • Agama caudospinosa
    Agama cornii
    Agama doriae
    Agama etoshae
    Agama gracilimembris
    Agama hartmanni
    Agama hispida
    Agama impalearis
    Agama insularis
    Agama kirkii
    Agama mehelyi
    Agama montana
    Agama mossambica
    Agama mwanzae
    Agama paragama
    Agama persimilis
    Agama planiceps
    Agama robecchii
    Agama rueppelli
    Agama sankaranica
    Agama spinosa
    Agama weidholzi

References

Manthey and Schuster. 1996. Agamid Lizards. T.F.H Publications Inc. U.S.A.


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