|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|At first I thought this was a colour blind chameleon as there was nothing that resembled this colour.|
Calotes versicolor (Orange) - Garden fence lizard
Calotes mystaceus (Blue) - Moustached (or Blue Crested) Lizard
Calotes versicolor and Calotes mystaceus are commonly seen in Thailand. Both species habitat forest edges, hence they are readily adapted to gardens. And are approximately 40cm from head to tail
Classification: Family Agamidae, Superfamily Iguania.
This widespread and diverse group of lizards is often referred to as the old world iguanids.
Agamids are placed in Iguania, a group that is sister to all other squamates (lizards and snakes). Like some other reptiles, they shed their skins. But they do not drop their tails (autotomy), so their tails can become very long, stiff and pointy.
Like chameleons, but unlike other Iguanians, Calotes have acrodont teeth and can move their eyes independently. Several other characters are also shared with chameleons.
They eat mainly insects and small vertebrates, including rodents and other lizards. Although they have teeth, these are designed for gripping prey and not tearing it up. So prey is swallowed whole, after it is stunned by shaking it about.
Calotes are diurnal and visually-oriented, and some species can distinguish between colours in the visual spectrum, as well as in ultraviolet wavelengths.
Males develop bright breeding colouration that is linked with dominance, and display by doing "push-ups" and inflating his throat to draw attention to his dazzling coloured head. Females respond by arching her back and elevating her tail. About 10-20 eggs are laid, buried in moist soil. Which hatch in about 6-7 weeks. They are able to breed at about 1 year old.
All Calotes have well-developed limbs, many have keeled scales, throat flaps or fans. These lizards can move and disappear very fast, but sometimes they stay motionless for a long time, if left undisturbed, or they can just gradually disappear from view using a tree branch as cover.
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