Wednesday 19 June 2013

Indian Rock Agama

Image: J. M. Garg
I thought it would be nice to take a look at a couple of lizards! How can you not when they're so gloriously, unabashedly red?

Thing is... they don't usually look quite so impressive.

Image: J. M. Garg
Psammophilus dorsalis
We're looking at two closely related and almost identical Indian lizards called Rock Agamas. They are the only two species in the genus Psammophilus and their common name comes from their love of rocks. They live in rocky areas, at least. Maybe they don't love them so much, but they certainly tolerate them otherwise they wouldn't be able to clamber around on them all the time.

Both species are about 10 cm (4 in) long with a 20 cm (8 in) tail and are usually a kind of blotchy, speckled brown colour for camouflage on their rocky habitat.

But the male makes a few changes when the breeding season comes around!

Image: J. M. Garg
P. dorsalis in red
The South Indian Rock Agama (P. dorsalis) becomes black with a red head and a long, red stripe all the way down his back.

P. dorsalis in yellow
Although they can also be yellow.

Image: L. Shyamal
P. blanfordanus
Blanford's Rock Agama (P. blanfordanus) becomes black, too, but usually only his head becomes red. The other differences between the species would require you to pick one up and get a really close look at their scales.

Video: chennaiNature
P. blanfordanus says hi to the ladies

Once clad in their daredevil costume (without need of lycra or leotards, I might add), it's time for daredevil antics! The male climbs up to a higher position where everyone can see him, and starts doing push-ups! His vibrant noggin bounces up and down as he displays his courage to the camouflaged females below.

Reckless in red...

Image: Harshjeet Singh Bal
Who could possibly resist?


TexWisGirl said...

fabulous looking he-men!

Joseph JG said...

Haha! Yes!

Bewildermunster said...

Such stunning colors! :O I love the last shot, those arms kinda look alien!

Joseph JG said...

To me those arms look weirdly muscular and human, as if they came straight from a little action figure. It's creepy because it's something familiar in an alien place!