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Changing your Color for Love

12 Apr

Most reptiles look the same no matter what time of year you find them. But right before rainy season, when the breeding season starts, some of the lizards display fantastic new colors.

The most brilliant of the breeding lizards is the Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard. Though most of the year they’re quite gray,

IndoChinese Forest 9-3-10 in Lumpani (2)

in spring both males and females develop fantastic blue heads, like this one in Chatuchak Park:

Male Blue Crested Lizard Calotes mystaceus in breeding coloration

Now you can see why they’re also called the “Blue Crested Lizard”. One individual in a small park in Silom was the bluest herp of any kind that I’ve ever seen. The breeding colors were in full display on this one:

IndoChinese Forest Lizard Calotes mystaceus breeding colors

Blue-crested Lizard Calotes mystaceus breeding colors

This is the very city habitat I found it in

Indo-Chinese Forest Lizards aren’t the only lizard to change color in breeding season to attract a mate. Their close relative, the Oriental Garden Lizard, changes as well. Though most of the year it is a drab brownish color:

Oriental Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor

During breeding season the males can become a deep red:

Changeable Lizard Calotes versicolor

Or even a brilliant red and yellow:

Oriental Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor

Male Oriental Garden Lizard in Phra Khanong showing breeding colors

If you’re paying attention, you’ll see when the lizards turn this year, and get to pick up on a beautiful sight.

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3 Comments

Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Herping adventures

 

Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “Changing your Color for Love

  1. erickuns

    April 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Wonderful lizards. I snapped some in the blue mode when I was in Myanmar about 7-8 years ago. Here’s a nice one: http://erickuns.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Agama-Amarapura-284664829

    I also live in Thailand, in Chiang Rai. My home has at least four resident large Tokays, and one even took down a bat.

    Keep up your excellent blog.

     

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