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Oriental Garden Lizard

Calotes versicolor


An agamid lizard found widely distributed in Asia. It has also been introduced in many other parts of the world.An agamid lizard found widely distributed in Asia. It has also been introduced in many other parts of the world. It is an insectivore and the male gets a bright red throat in the breeding season. It measures over 10 cm (3.9 in) in length snout-to-vent. Total length including the tail is up to 37 cm (14.5 in). The coloration is very variable, sometimes uniform brownish or greyish-olive or yellowish. Generally broad brown bands across the back, interrupted by a yellowish lateral band. The ground-colour is generally a light brownish olive, but the lizard can change it to bright red to black, and to a mixture of both. This change is sometimes confined to the head, at other times diffused over the whole body and tail. Breeding-season falls in the months of May and June.


In a hot sunny day a solitary Bloodsucker may be seen on a twig or on a wall, basking in the sun, with mouth wide open. After a shower of rain numbers of them arc seen to come down on the ground and pick up the larva and small insects which fall from the trees during the showers.


Other names are - Eastern garden lizard or Changeable lizard. In India and Ceylon it is known as “Bloodsucker” (in Bengali - রক্তচোষা - Raktochosha), the origin of which cannot be satisfactorily traced. May be the name was given from the occasional reddish hue of the throat and neck. In Bengali it is also called "গিরগিটি" (Girgiti).

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Spotted by

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Apr 10, 2015
Submitted on Apr 18, 2015

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