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This collection of reptile images features lizards (Order Squamata) photographed in their natural habitats and feature species from the Agamidae, Dactyloidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, Teiidae and Varanidae families.
Most lizards lay eggs (oviparous) as do most other reptiles. They vary in size and weight. The smallest, dwarf geckos have snout-to-vent lengths (SVL) of less than 20mm and weigh less than 1g. Komodo dragons, the largest species have SVLs of 2m to 3m and weigh around 70kg, captive Komodos can be much larger. Tail lengths can be shorter or longer than SVL and in some species, such as whiptails, the tails are two to three times longer. Apart from the nocturnal house geko the other featured species are diurnal.
The gallery features images of two carnivorous lizards from the Varanidae family that eat anything smaller than themselves but also scavenge:
(a) The the second largest lizard species are water monitors (Varanus salvator). They are a semi aquatic species distinguished from the clouded monitor by the position of its nostrils that lie near the tip of the snout. Mature males have an average SVL of around 1.5m to 2m, over double for snout to tail length and they weigh around 20kg. Habitats include forest, shrubland, wetlands, rural gardens and can be found in urban areas. Distribution is South and SE Asia, I photographed these reptiles in several places in Singapore including the Botanical Gardens, Japanese Garden, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
(b) Clouded monitor (Varanus nebulosus) can be found in South East Asia and Java. I photographed this animal in Singapore's Botanic Gardens. Can be distinguished from the water monitor by the position of its nostrils, which lie mid-way between the eye and snout. It has yellow spots on a brown-grey base. Males are heavier than females but have same SVL of around 0.5m to 1.75m. Habitat is scrubland and forest.
On a visit to Sungei Buloh in 2016 I was fortunate to witness and photograph a couple of large males fighting in the water near the Wetland Centre. I've selected eight images of the wresting match. When I started to photograph them one had already been bloodied so the fight was in full swing. One seemed to be unscathed and eventually pined the other down before chasing the bloodied one off into the mangrove swamp. My photographic encounter lasted about seven minutes but the fight must have lasted much longer as I was late to the scene.
Images of four insectivores from the Agamidae family feature in the gallery:
(a) Changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) habitat is undergrowth in open areas including urban and found in Iran, India, South East Asia, Indonesia, Southern China and have been introduced into the Seychelles and Mauritius. A medium sized lizard with an SVL of 10cm and longish tail. It has a dorsal crest and is usually dull brown, grey or olive with speckled bands but also in other colours. In the breeding season males head and shoulders are bright orange with a black throat. The images were captured in Singapore and Mauritius and two images show males in breeding colours, one is eating a bee.
(b) Jacky lizard (Amphibolurus muricatus) a crested lizard that inhabits dry forests. I photographed this individual in the wild bushland at Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia. It's a medium sized lizard with pale grey to dark brown with dark patches along middle and back.
(c) Sumatran gliding lizard (Draco sumatranus) can be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan. I photographed this individual at Singapore's Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It's a flying lizard and this one few onto my back, I was wearing a grey polo shirt at the time so I guess it thought it would blend in. Habitat includes forest, urban and gardens. It has elongated ribs and skin flaps on body sides, is a tree dweller with an SVL around 9cm. Colour is dark grey-brown with stripes and patterns for camouflage.
(d) Gliding Lizard (Draco sp.) photographed at Malaysia's Tasman Negara National Park at the edge of the forest edges, which is its preferred habitat. It feeds on ants and termites and is closely related to Sumatran gliding lizard.
Images from Anoles, Gekkonidae, Teiidae and Lacertidae family of lizards in their natural habitat feature in the gallery:
(a) Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) from the Dactyloidae family is native to Bahamas and Cuba, but has been introduced to warm parts of North America and Singapore where I photographed this specimen. It's a small terrestrial species inhabiting open vegetation.
(a) Geckos, Gekkonidae family:
(i) Common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a nocturnal insectivore often seen in urban areas and in houses at night especially near artificial lights. Its distribution is worldwide in tropical zones and has an SVL around 6cm. Other habitats include forest, savanna, rocky areas, desert and plantations.
(ii) Mauritius ornate day gecko (Phelsuma Ornata) is endemic to Mauritius, it prefers drier areas, trees, rocks where vegetation has been cleared and has an SVL is about 6cm. I photographed these on Traveller Palms, an invasive species in Mauritius, where they were feeding on insects.
(b) Common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) is part of the Lacertidae family of lizards with a European distribution. I photographed several lizards in different location in France. Its SVL is less than 20cm and has a very thin tail, which accounts for more than half of its length and varies in colour. It prefers open, sunny areas with little vegetation and can often be seen near old houses and on old stone walls.
(c) Teiidae family:
(i) Gold tegu (Tupinambis teguixin), photographed in Trinidad where it locally known as a tiger lizard. Inhabits tropical forest and is native to middle and south America. A medium sized lizard, males are larger than females, they feed on insects, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and sometimes fruit.
(ii) Giant ameiva (Ameiva ameiva) is found on ground foraging for food such as insects and fruit. They have an SVL less than 20cm but with tails that are twice as long. They are found in South America including Trinidad inhabiting savanna, grassland and rainforest. I photographed this species in two locations in Trinidad; one near the beach in the forested area and another in a savanna area.