Iguanas (Agamids and Anoles)

The second of two iguana photo albums contain a single gallery of iguanas, placed in Order Squamata, that I photographed in their natural habitats. The gallery features Agamid and Anole Iguanas. See the Taxonomy note at the end of this page.

Iguanas (Agamids and Anoles)

Iguanas (Agamids and Anoles)

All species are ‘Red List 2020’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’, except for the Changeable Lizard and Brown Anole, which have no assessment. Most agamids are Insectivores.

The first part of the gallery displays three Australian endemic dragon lizards and the native northern water dragon found in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Dragon Lizards

Eastern Water Dragon is the nominate subspecies of Australian Water Dragon (genus Intellagama), a semi-aquatic species found near water.

Northern Water Dragon / Swamplands Lashtail belongs to the lashtail dragons (genus Amphibolurus). The common name ‘swamplands lashtail’ seems more appropriate than the more popular ‘northern water dragon’ name. Classified previously under several genera Grammataphora, Lophognathus, Physignathus, Gemmatophora and Amphibolurus but currently placed within the newly constructed Gowidon genus. Found in the Northern Australia wetland areas such as Fogg dam where I photographed them.

The swamplands lashtail is like Gilbert’s Dragon, and only experienced reptile experts can tell them apart. However, they have different habitat preferences; the swamplands lashtail prefers wetter habitats while Gilbert’s dragon prefers dryer woodland further south. I have based the identification on its habitat preference.

Jacky Lizard is a lashtail dragon (genus Amphibolurus) that inhabits dry forests. I photographed this individual in the wild bushland at Cranbourne. Like most Agamids, they are Insectivores

Boyd’s Forest Dragon genus Hypsilurus distribution limited to the rainforests of North-eastern Queensland between Cooktown and Townsville. These arboreal lizards perch quite lowdown on tree trunks waiting to ambush prey. Great subjects to photograph as they stay still relying on camouflage to avoid predators.

The second part of the gallery features photos of two gliding lizards (genus Draco), the ‘flying dragons’ and a garden lizard (genus Calotes), which are native to South, and South-East Asia.

Gliding and Gardens Lizards

Blanford’s Gliding Lizard is one of the largest species of Draco that I photographed at Malaysia’s Tasman Negara National Park at the forest edge, which is its preferred habitat. It feeds on ants and termites and is closely related to the Sumatran gliding lizard. Males have a large throat fan, which extends during courtship or as a territorial display.

Sumatran Gliding Lizard avoids dark forest interiors and prefers to keep to the forest edge and often encountered in urban areas, parks and gardens. I photographed this individual at Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. I was at ‘platform 2’ observing the wildlife when it flew onto my back. They are dark grey-brown with stripes and patterns for camouflage, so they probably blended well with my grey polo shirt.

Changeable Lizard habitat is in the undergrowth of parks and gardens. Found in the Indomalaya region and introduced to Singapore and Mauritius, where I have photographed the species.

Usually dull brown, grey or olive with speckled bands but also in other colours. In the breeding season males, head and shoulders are coloured bright orange with a black throat. The closeup is of a breeding male eating a bee.

The final two images in the gallery is a Brown Anole (genus Norops). It is native to the Bahamas and Cuba and introduced to warm parts of North America and Singapore, where I photographed this specimen. It is a small terrestrial species inhabiting open vegetation. Furthermore, it is a highly invasive species in the USA and Taiwan, but the impact on Singapore’s local wildlife is unknown.

Iguana (Agamids and Anoles) Taxonomy

The Reptiles Photo Album webpage describes the higher-level taxonomy for the featured families placed in suborder Iguania, order the Squamata (Lizards, Skinks, Snakes).

Agamid Lizards feature images from subfamilies: Amphibolurinae (Dragon Lizards) found in Australia and New Guinea, with one species in Southeast Asia; and Draconinae (Gliding and Garden Lizards) in South and Southeast Asia.

Anole Lizards displays a single species placed in the family Dactyloidae.