The green crested lizard Bronchocela cristatella Kuhl, is native to Singapore and endemic to Southeast Asia [ 1 , 2 ]. In the recent years, it has allegedly faced competition by the Changeable lizard Calotes versicolor Daudin, which was introduced in the s and now its distribution is restricted to forested areas of Singapore, while the latter occupies urban park localities 1 2 3. These diurnal green crested lizards are arboreal and frequently found resting or climbing tree trunks in forested areas 4 5. The family Agamidae is known for distinctly long tails, as seen in their diversity in different biogeographic regions 6.
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The green crested lizard Bronchocela cristatella Kuhl, is native to Singapore and endemic to Southeast Asia [ 1 , 2 ].
In the recent years, it has allegedly faced competition by the Changeable lizard Calotes versicolor Daudin, which was introduced in the s and now its distribution is restricted to forested areas of Singapore, while the latter occupies urban park localities 1 2 3. These diurnal green crested lizards are arboreal and frequently found resting or climbing tree trunks in forested areas 4 5.
The family Agamidae is known for distinctly long tails, as seen in their diversity in different biogeographic regions 6. Green crested lizards exhibit these characteristics and also display interesting behaviour and morphology that allows the laymen to identify it easily 7 1. While many may be familiar with the common house gecko as a "lizard", there are many other lizards with much more exciting behaviour, novel patterns and colouration 1 7.
Lizards belong under Suborder Lacertilia, with infraorders Iguania and Gekkonidae 8. Lizards can be classified according morphology, molecular data as well as their habit or other behaviour such as colour change 9 7.
Image with background modified and taken from Teyssier et al. Important features to look out for include large and easily identifiable characteristics on the head Figure 4a and overall body characteristics that allows identification from afar 1 7.
Characteristics such as black ear and eye-ring, together with defined nuchal crests make quick identification easy 1 7. Other chracteristics such as colour change and egg shape can also be helpful in providing evidence for identification 7 1. If specimens are at hand, more detailed measurements of snout to vent length and body length will be obtained for more rigorous identification exercises, especially in the case, where scientists suspected that they have found a new species 11 Grismer, L.
Edition Chimaira. Das, I. A field guide to the reptiles of South-East Asia. Bloomsbury Publishing. Diong, C. Difference 2: Body snout-to-vent length versus Tail length Fig.
These lizards can change their colour rapidly when they are threatened or in stressful conditions. In this video, you can see agressive behaviour being associated with colour change from green to brown. Aggression occurs when there are territorial disputes Quah, pers. This colour change also occurs when they are being predated upon.
Difference 3: Colour change of body and throat. Images from Quah et al. Both the green crested lizard and the changeable lizard undergo colour change in the breeding season 14 4 5 7. The green crested lizard turns dark brown and displays an orange throat pouch while the changeable lizard turns from light grey to reddish with a red and black throat 4. Such colour changes only appear in males and are part of a display to attract females to mate with them 4.
Head-bobbing of these lizards can be observed when the males are trying to attract the attention of the females 15 4. The mating display also includes male erection of the nuchal crest while the throat pouch inflates 4.
Just before mating, males turn brown, almost black and display their orange pouch prominently 4. Males then hold females by the neck and mount them, while females remain bright green 4. Green coloration returns to the male's body when mating ends after 30 seconds, or 45 seconds after courtship and mating 4. This species can be found in many pet stores, especially online pet stores that export oriental lizard species in the region Large terrariums with natural greenery are constructed with suitable temperature and humidity to maintain them as pets [ 5 ].
Image taken by Cheryl Leem. As it is an aboreal lizard, it lives and forages among the trees 7. However, alleged competition with the Changeable Lizard Calotes versicolor in possibly the same ecological niche has made it harder to spot in urban green spaces 4 7. The Changeable Lizard can be mostly found in parks while the Green crested lizard can be found in more protected areas 21 3.
Individuals are expected to live more than 10 years After mating, these oviparous lizards lay eggs in the external environment, which hatch to give the young Females lay fusiform eggs in the soil in groups of eggs at once in soil 23 7 1. These eggs require days of incubation before hatching Green crested lizards feed on a wide variety of prey that are mostly insects, including ants, beetles, cicadas, crickets, flies, grasshoppers, stick insects, etc. Eating incidents have b een infrequently observed because the Green crested lizard eats and swallows its prey within seconds.
At times, it has been observed to also feed on skinks. However, green crested lizards are not only predated upon by large predators; their bodies are are fed upon by weaver ants when they die. Synonyms are scientific names that actually refer to the same group. Synonyms arise when earlier names are shown to be erroneous and the same specimen is instead allocated to a new name as its features are deemed more similar to a new group. However, over the years, the species changed names multiple times owing to re-categorisation 30 9.
The original description by Kuhl based on type specimens deposited in the Paris Museum, but the type locality was not given Identification keys are usually dichotomous, meanng that each point describes two possible logical alternatives, one of which is chosen 7. This eventually leads the reader to determine what species or genus a particular specimen belongs to 7. In a phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA, the family Agamidae was found to be strongly monophyletic Habitats of different elevation e.
From Fig. While differences in external appearance hint at the presence of different species, genetic analyses are often needed to verify these hypotheses 5. More rigorous sampling or a higher number of specimens showing consistent differences would have strengthened these claims of new species.
Other information provided in the study was a brief speculation on the possible reproductive period. If the reproductive seasons were indeed as observed with no overlaps, then cross-breeding between species would not be possible thus obstructing gene flow between these two species, which can lead scientists to conclude that they are tentative Biological Species as reproductive isolation has been achieved Arboreal: refers to lizards which carry out most activity on trees and usually live on trees.
Biogeographic regions: different geographic regions that also host different types of species owing to different environmental conditions. Courtship: procedures and rituals that the males and females engage in before deciding to copulate with each other. Diurnal: exhibiting activity in daytime and sleeping at night. Opposite of nocturnal. Endemic: being restricted to and is only found in a specific geographic range. Morphology : the study of the form, shape or configuration of the organism.
Oviparous: used to describe an animal that lays eggs externally and minimal development of young occurs internally of the mother. Morphology — related 1. Iris: the part of the eye ball that surrounds the pupil.
Lateral margins: the outline of the eye ring 3. Nuchal crests: the nuchal crest is made of the nuchal spines on the back of the neck 4. Snout to vent length: main body length from the pointed tip of the snout to the base of the tail of the lizard. Used as a main descriptor for morphology.
Tail length: length of tail which is also the length of the body that is not the snout-to-vent length. Throat pouch: inflatable sac located at the throat. Used for mating displays. Tympanum : membrane leading to the ear of the lizard Taxonomy - r elated 1. Holotype: The first specimen that the author refers to in order to describe the species 2. Syntype: The multiple specimens that the author refers to instead of one single specimen in holotype in order to describe the species.
Footnotes Ref Notes 1 Diong, C. Bronchocela cristatella. Calotes versicolor. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 19 4 , Green Crested Lizard. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards Reptilia: Agaminae. Scientific Reports, 6. Photonic crystals cause active colour change in chameleons.
Nature communications, 6. Zootaxa, 3 , Zootaxa, 1 , Green crested lizard. Retrieved lkcnhm. Current Herpetology, 27 2 , Tropical Zoology, 4 2 , Calotes versicolor : the changeable lizard.
Nature Malaysia Malaysia. Acta Herpetologica, 4 1 ,
Green Crested Lizard
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Oct Make your own badge here. This large green lizard is very well camouflaged among the green vegetation where it may perch motionless. It is active during the day and is arboreal, found in bushes and trees usually in forested areas and inland wild places. Features: Total length to 57cm. A slender body with small, bumpy keeled scales. It has a spiny crest on the back of its neck and a very long tail.
A stunning species, the Green Crested Lizard inhabits primary and secondary forest, but can also be found in disturbed areas and parklands. The body colour is bright green, sometimes with a bluish tinge on the head. When threatened or aroused the body colour can become more brown. Males have an attractive neck crest. The tail makes up over 75 percent of its total length.
Go to: main text of page main navigation local menu. Ineich, pers. A variable species of Tympanum large, more than half diameter of orbit, often dusky colored.