Calotes mystaceus

Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus
Male Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard basking in Lumpani

Male Blue Crested Lizard Calotes mystaceus in breeding coloration
Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard showing breeding colors in Chatuchak

Male IndoChinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus breeding colors
Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard in breeding colors in Sathon

Blue-crested Lizard Calotes mystaceus breeding colors
Close-up of Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard

IndoChinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus
Female Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard on Ko Samet

IndoChinese Tree Agama Calotes mystaceus reddish spots
Male Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard in Ratchaburi Province

blue lizard thumbnail
Male Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard in breeding colors (photo by Matt Roome)

Blue Crested Lizard Calotes mystaceus on ground
Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard on ground during rainstorm

Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus head shot
Head shot of Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard

IndoChinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus juvenile
Juvenile Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard on tree in Sathon

English name: Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard (aka “Blue-crested Lizard” or “IndoChinese Tree Agama”)
Scientific name: Calotes mystaceus
Thai name: Ging-ga Hua Si Fa or Ging-ga Suan

Description: To 42 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 14 cm. Body is robust and higher than it is wide. Has rough body scales and a back crest that runs from the back of its head to the middle of its back, much more prominent in males than females. Grey to olive with a series of 3-5 reddish spots often running down the side. The upper lip is white. During breeding season the forebody of both males and females will turn a light electric blue.

Similar Species: Oriental Garden Lizards are smaller, are typically (though not always) tan rather than olive or grey, and lack the white lip coloration. Their males turn red and the females turn yellow, rather than blue, during the breeding season.

Habitat: Naturally found in forest, but appears to be able to adapt to encroachment by humans and can be found in treed neighborhoods and city parks. Is almost always found on tree trunks and branches well above the ground.

Place in the ecosystem: Eats insects. Is eaten by diurnal snakes and birds of prey.

Danger to humans: The Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard can give a painful bite if handled, but is not dangerous.

Conservation status and threats: No known conservation issues.

Interesting facts: The blue coloration isn’t the only extravagant aspect of mating for the Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard. During breeding season the male lizard will approach a female face-to-face with its back arched and throat puffed out. It makes strong bowing motions and noddings of the head which appear almost comical. Eventually the female responds with the same posture and jerky bowings and noddings, and breeding commences.

References:
Wikipedia: Calotes mystaceus
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
The Lizards of Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia