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Portrait of Pale Agama

Portrait of Pale Agama
Photo Information
Copyright: Bayram Gocmen (boreocypriensis) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 207 N: 2989] (9571)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-12
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D-80, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, @ ISO 320, SIGMA 62MM EX DG MC UV Filter
Exposure: f/16, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Syrian Herpetofauna, Herpetofauna of the Middle East [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-07-23 13:33
Viewed: 7142
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Trapelus pallidus (Agama pallida) (Pale Agama)

Hi friends, today another post of this desert beauty but this time a portrait showing its pretty and amusing face:) with its head scalation.

TFL and Have a nice WE!

©Bayram GÖÇMEN, All Rights Reserved.


Pale Agama is distributed from northern Egypt through Sinai, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia to Kuwait. Its habitat is open flat desert and semidesert areas, often with scarce vegetation; in the basalt desert also in flat stony habitats. It is a medium-sized terrestrial agamid with a broad triangular head, long extremities and flattened body. The head is convex, short and wide, distinctly longer than broad. Nostrils are barely above the canthus rostralis, which is indistinct; nasal shield flat. Upper head scales convex, occipital not enlarged. T pallidus agnetae differs in having a fringe of 3-4 distinct spines situated on the upper edge of the ear opening, pointing mostly downwards. These scales are lacking in the nominotypic form. Ear opening is smaller than eye opening, elongate, nearly twice as long as high. There is no gular pouch. The body is depressed. Dorsal scales are very small, irregular, faintly imbricate, indistinctly keeled; intermixed with enlarged keeled or spiny scales. Ventral scales smooth, imbricate, in some specimens slightly keeled. Limbs are relatively long, tibia longer than the skull. The third toe is shorter than the fourth. Tail is circular in cross section, significantly longer than head and body. Males possess a double row of preanal pores and have a distinctly enlarged tail basis. Coloration is variable, in the hottest periods of the day often very light (pallidus = pale), to minimise isolation and prevent hypertermia. Dorsum often with 4 dark cross-bands, each interrupted by an irregular whitish vertebral strike, ventral side whitish. Tail with about 13 dark cross-bars. Populations from the black lava desert often attain a dark cryptic coloration. The head and back of males of some populations is during the mating period bluish, gravid females often have an orange head and ventral side of the tail. The largest measured Jordanian specimen (a male) attained a total length of 190 mm. it is probable, that it can exceed 200 mm of total length.

Pale Agama strictly diurnal and heliophilous, terrestrial species. Dominant males display themselves on the top of stones, even during the hottest hours of the day, when they are often the only visible animals in the desert. When disturbed, they run at top speed with the tail slightly curved upwards, and then stop a few meters away, hugging the ground and relying on their superb camouflage. To prevent midday overheating in summer, they climb small bushes of desert plants and rest 10-30 centimetres above the hot substrate. The breeding season starts in May or June, females lay probably more clutches per year. Detailed data on reproduction are lacking, first juveniles appear in July. It evidently hibernates (though with interruptions) in December or January. The diet is composed of small desert invertebrates, often with a predominance of ants. They can be occasionally observed sitting nearby an ant nest and feeding on individuals from a stream of ants passing to and from a nest. A specific rain-drinking behaviour has been reported, similar to that in some other members of this genus. When raining, these agamids display a stereotype posture involving depression of head and concomitant elevation of hindquarters, so that the caudal part of the dorsum is the highest part of the body. Head is depressed, sometimes touching the substrate or stone and the tongue is protruded repeatedly. The body axis is extremely sheered and water collected by the dorsum accumulates on rostrum forming a drop, which is drunk by regular opening of mouth and protruding of tongue.


1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips.
2. Disi, A. M., Modry, D., Necas, P. & Rifai, L. (2001). Amphibians and Reptiles of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Edition Chimaira, 408 pp.
3. Esterbauer,H. (1985). Zur Herpetofauna Südwestsyriens. Herpetofauna 7 (38): 23-34.

valy67, CatherineD, nkasot, cypturk, Hormon_Manyer, tuslaw, anemone, Sascha-Steinau, bahadir, siggi, yasemin, sandpiper2, SMYRNA, marius-secan, Alex99, CeltickRanger, caspian, omereser, montivipera, cirano, haraprasan, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To omereser: slmboreocypriensis 1 07-25 14:54
To sandpiper2: Hi MF Chrisboreocypriensis 1 07-24 04:17
To tuslaw: Hi Ronboreocypriensis 1 07-24 03:42
To LordPotty: Hi Steveboreocypriensis 1 07-24 03:31
To nkasot: Tşkboreocypriensis 1 07-23 13:56
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Bayram !
Today, for the first time since a very long time, I could come to Tn, and I'm so happy to discover this beauty from you ! It's a wonderful animal, and the picture is brilliant, perfect on all points. I specially like all the details on the face and the scales, they make nice pattern. Very well done !

Hello dear friend,
What a funny face! Colours and sharpness are great. Very spiny species. She has impressive long nails, usufull to climb on shrubs I suppose. I know a place where she can be useful to eat ants... :)
Iyi geceler SA... with full moon!

Bayram hocam gerçekten çok keyifli bir yüz ifadesi var bu çöl güzelinin. Özellikle göz üstü plakları ile nostril plağı etrafı ayrı bir karakter vermiş bu güzele. Elinize sağlık.
İyi geceler. Saygılarımla.

Hello Dayi. Lovely portrait, excellent job with stunning details on its skin, perfect lighting and background.
TFS. Enjoy your weekend!

Dear Bareatom, my neighbour today,
Fantastic pic, beautiful portrait of the agama. Plenty of details, great textures on the head, excellent sharpness. Very pretty face, I agree. :) And I also agree with Catherine: now she may be useful in Hungary, because there's an invasion of gnats (mosquitos) here. :(
Thanx for sharing this masterpiece. Have a nice WE also, friendly regards, László

Fantastic capture Bayram. Perfect exposure in very bright sunlight.
Amazing detail and textures.
Nicely done.
Hope you are well.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-07-23 21:40]
  • [+]

Hello Bayram,
A wonderful close-up of this beautiful lizard. You have captured excellent detail and natural coloration in this image. He seems to be sizing you up as you take his picture, it makes you wonder just what he was thinking of.
We don't have lizards here in Ohio, but I was able to take some shots of a few while in Arizona two weeks ago. I have been able to identify a few of them, but others I'm not so sure of.

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-07-23 22:34]

Hi Bayram
What a pretty face have your lizard from today.
Interesting forms of the head!
Details and colors are perfect!
Great shot!

Ne kadar hoş bir yüz ifadesi ve kafa yapısı varmış bunun Bayram hocam. Yüzümde tebessüm belirdi:) Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık.

Hi Bayram,
Again a marvellous reptile picture from you!
That picture is really great composed and the natural colours, sharpness and also the details are fabulous. The moment was perfect! I like that picture very much!

Many thanks for sharing your picture here.
Have a nice start into your weekend.

Sascha ;O)

Günaydın Bayram hocam. Hehe.. çok tatlı suratı varmış. Dozer gibi. Gözüstü plaklarının düzenlenmesi kraliçe tacı gibi özenli. Çölün kraliçesi bu olsa gerek:) Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık hocam. İyi tatiller.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-07-24 0:27]

Hello Bayram,
Beautiful sharp detailed portrait of this agama with very pleasing eye-contact. Great natural colours. Excellent POV and DOF.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-07-24 1:05]

Hello Mf Bayram,
great environment and background. Very good contact with the eye of the reptile. Great sharpness and details and beautiful natural warm colours. Adequate light. Good job!
Best regards Siggi

Bayram ne kadar guzel yuzlu bir kertenkele... cok masum duruyor.. Suriye colunde ne var ne yok cektin galiba:) aksi olsa sasardim zaten... Harika olmus.. Her zamanki gibi de notlar da egitici..
Eline saglik canim kardesim.. hepimizden selamlar.

Hallo MF Bayram,
incredible portrait of this Pale Agama, fine detail and marvellous natural colours, a very nice close composition with a great eye contact.
Best regards

Excelente Bayram,
te recreas en tus trabajos demostrándonos tu buen dominio de la técnica. Un placer admirarlos.
Saludos: J. Ignasi.

Ciao Bayram, fantastic portrait of this strange creature, like a prehistoric monster, excellent sharpness, fine details and splendid natural colors, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hi Bayram

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, I think Catherine enjoyed herself when you guys meet up.
Another great lizard for us to admire, beautiful sharp details. Hope to see many more in the coming weeks.

Have a great Sunday

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-07-24 4:22]

Merhaba MF Prof. Bayram,
what a lively glance of this exciting agama. the scales are really stunning and you have depicted it so well in good selected focus. This gives a good bokeh and very dramatic effect.
excellent view.


Ciao BBB. So impressive and cute this portrait. Top quality, as usual MF!


Ne kadar garip bir yüzü varmış bunun be kanka. İlginç bir yaratık. Bize de gösterdin. Allah senden razı olsun:) ne diyelim. Teşekkürler.

Hello Bayram,
Great portrait with superb colours and razor sharp details.
Nice capture and very interesting and useful photographer's note.

Hello Bayram,
Wonderful close up taken from an excellent POV with good focus, great sharpness, fine details and natural colour. Well done!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-07-24 10:18]

Hi Bayram.
Excellent portrait taken with macro lens. You had a very calm photo model. Its pose and look, framing of the image are great as well as nice details and colours. Well done and kind regards.

hello Bayram

WOW ! this is a great macro portrait shot with a superb POV, DOF,
superbly focused with great sharpness and details,
and with a very beautiful eye-contact, TFS


hello Bayram
Yes ,i like this head !
great sharpness and good details
beautiful colours and super good light
greatshot Bayram
thanksgreeting lou

Merhaba Bayram hocam,

Kafa makrosu süper olmuş.
Çok sağlam bir kafa yapısı olduğu anlaşılıyor.
Minik el yapısı da çok ilginç.
Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık.

Selam ve saygılarımla,

fantastic closeup, I wish I was there to see it, Ori

Burun yapısı çok ilginç. Topbaş keler gibi. Elinize emeğinize sağlık

Vavvvv.. gerçekten çok güzel bir kafa yapısı varmış hocam. Kulak deliği açıklığı bizdeki T. ruderatusa göre bayağı aşağıda ve pektinasyonlu. Elinize sağlık.
Saygılar hocam.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-07-28 12:54]

Bayram merhaba,
Çok güzel bir yakın çekim olmuş.Ayak ve kafa detayları çok etkileyici.Eline emeğine sağlık.
Bi slavên germ,

Selamlar my dear friend,
A superb captured portrait of this beautiful Agama Sp. Good sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing. Have a nice weekend.

Hello again my friend Bayram. What you have framed is first class in the sense of presentation. That gazing eye is stunning with vivid details of the scale against the blue sky.
Excellent shot and thanks again for sharing.
Greetings from Malaysia - Jusni

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