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

The most brilliant of the breeding lizards is the Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard. 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

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. Through 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 orange and yellow:

Oriental Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor

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