The pretty Changeable Lizard, or Common Garden lizard
The only native Agamid lizard the pretty Changeable Lizard, or Common Garden lizard is a ubiquitous site in Hong Kong. 變色樹蜥 Calotes versicolor.
This is in fact my 4th blog post about this lizard this year...but i love them and see them so often, and I am always amazed at how different they can appear; just compare these photos. Here a large male at Kadoorie Farm
A female catches the sun on a tree.
A juvenile perches on a log with fungi in Lions Park Sai Kung.
Generally dark brown or olive wish some banding. Grows quite large, up to 40cm and they can vary quite considerably in colouring...sometimes mottled and darkish brown, whilst other times has deep red chest to head colours with a bright red and black throat. Females not so colurful. Has a large triangular head. Older specimens have a crest, and the scales are highly keeled. the tail is very long and thin, often banded.
Loves to sun itself...and can often be found in the plants and shrubs next to pathways. Not often found in forests. you can hear them scrabble about and then they remain stationary looking at you as you get quite close, cocking their eye at you, and then they will leap to safety. Will bite if caught.
Widely distributed throughout Hong Kong.
all kinds of insects....crickets, cicadas, beetles etc
Breeds in spring....lays eggs in the soil in summer.