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West African Rainbow Lizard

Agama agama africana

Description:

Male West African Rainbow Lizard (Agama agama africana) - a subspecies of Agama agama and a non-native, invasive species to Florida - approx. 24 inches in total length at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. << Nonstressed breeding males of the West African subspecies have brilliant orange heads, an indigo blue or black body and legs, and a tail that is bluish white at the base and has an orange middle segment and black tail tip. Nonbreeding or stressed males are paler and may lack orange on the head. Females and juveniles have yellow or earthen tones on their backs with some barring, and breeding females may have an orangish or bluish blush on their heads. Males may reach 30 cm (12 in) long, but females are smaller. These active, agile, and wary lizards often bask facing the sun, and sun-warmed lizards are more brightly colored than cooler ones. >>

Habitat:

African Redhead Agama -- Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail -- This African species contains 10 different subspecies, which may vary in color among geographic regions and populations. Present populations in Dade, Charlotte, and Florida's Seminole counties are a West African subspecies (africana), but the Broward Co. populations may consist of some individuals of East African subspecies (Enge et al. 2004b). Nonstressed breeding males of the West African subspecies have brilliant orange heads, an indigo blue or black body and legs, and a tail that is bluish white at the base and has an orange middle segment and black tail tip. Nonbreeding or stressed males are paler and may lack orange on the head. Females and juveniles have yellow or earthen tones on their backs with some barring, and breeding females may have an orangish or bluish blush on their heads. Males may reach 30 cm (12 in) long, but females are smaller. These active, agile, and wary lizards often bask facing the sun, and sun-warmed lizards are more brightly colored than cooler ones (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). A population observed in the Redland area of Dade County in 2002 used low rock walls around a schoolyard and a nearby neighborhood (Enge et al. 2004b). Wilson and Porras (1983) first reported an established population in Dade County, but they were almost certain that it had been extirpated during extensive demolition in the area. In Africa, agamas mostly feeds on ants, grasshoppers, and beetles (James and Porter 1979), but in some areas or during the dry season, they will feed on flowers, grass, dead leaves, and human food (e.g., candy, bread crumbs, cake, pieces of carrot (Romer 1953, Chapman and Chapman 1964, Harris 1964, Cloudsley-Thompson 1981). Large individuals are cannibalistic and may eat their own young (Harris 1964, Cloudsley-Thompson 1981). (credit: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnat...)

Notes:

DISTRIBUTION AND ECOLOGY OF THE INTRODUCED AFRICAN RAINBOW LIZARD, AGAMA AGAMA AFRICANA (SAURIA: AGAMIDAE), IN FLORIDA http://www.naherpetology.org/pdf_files/2...

1 Species ID Suggestions

bayucca
bayucca 8 years ago
West African Rainbow Lizard
Agama agama africana wildherps.com - African Rainbow Lizard (Agama agama)


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13 Comments

Robbie6
Robbie6 a month ago

We have them in Indian River County now, south of Vero Beach.

hollybetlu
hollybetlu 9 months ago

I have located one in the Lower Keys.

Nicole55
Nicole55 a year ago

I spotted three of them. First sighting was the BBT parking lot in Cutler Bay, FL, 11/2018. Second sighting, my daughter and I walked past a neighbor’s house and saw two males, Palmetto Bay Estates, FL, 4/2019.

Sami
Sami a year ago

I saw one at the Palm Beach International Airport 03/16/19

Virginia4
Virginia4 a year ago

I saw one in McDonalds parking lot in Palm City, FL. yesterday (3/2/2019)it was a beauty, moving pretty fast to ge out of the way.

Kristin14
Kristin14 a year ago

We have several of these running around our shop in Mulberry, FL 33860 I have seen males and females.

Catherine27
Catherine27 a year ago

I saw a male and female trying to mate at the Indian river mall in Vero beach FL

AshleyT
AshleyT a year ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

mdouglas500
mdouglas500 a year ago

Seen one in the trash dumpster area at the Dunkin Donuts in Vero Beach off Oslo and 27th sw

lynnfrancis0
lynnfrancis0 2 years ago

larger male spotted 1405 82nd Avenue Vero Beach, FL. 32966

Rainbow blizzard. Riverside park Jensen Beach Florida

JackEng
JackEng 8 years ago

bayucca,
Thank you for your species ID.

bayucca
bayucca 8 years ago

Originated from Africa it was introduced in Cuba and Florida.

JackEng
Spotted by
JackEng

Florida, USA

Spotted on Mar 11, 2012
Submitted on Mar 12, 2012

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