Wednesday 17 June 2015

Black Lava Lizard

Image: Arthur Chapman
Tropidurus melanopleurus
Isn't this how it usually works in computer games?

The Black Lava Lizard is small and throws stones at you. The Yellow Lava Lizard looks identical but it's slightly bigger and sets the stones on fire before throwing them at you. And the Red Lava Lizard is even bigger but it breathes fire.

Image: Arthur Chapman
Luckily, real Black Lava Lizards would rather eat insects than throw stones at anyone.

Not that there's a dearth of stones in their habitat; they live on the eastern side of the Andes in Argentina and Bolivia.

Image: Arthur Chapman
It's actually the females alone who are black with red and yellow fire stripes.

Males look a little more outrageous, with all manner of greens and yellows, reds and blues, spots and stripes.

Sometimes they get into precarious fights on the near-vertical rock of the Andes!

It's such a ludicrous place to be leaping and biting at each other. Couldn't they just throw stones until one of them loses their footing? Seems safer that way.


TexWisGirl said...

they're very cool!

Joseph JG said...

Yup! Which is odd for something called a Lava Lizard!