The eyelids are distinct and scaly. The ear opening is about as large as the eye opening and two or three large, obtuse lobules are present anteriorly. The nostril is within the nasal scale and there are no supranasals. The frontonasal is in contact with the rostral and the prefrontals form a suture. The frontal is longer than it is broad, as long as the parietals, and is in contact with the two anterior supraoculars. There are four supraoculars, of which the second is largest. There are between six and seven supraciliaries. The frontoparietals are distinct. The interparietal is as broad as the parietals are narrow. There are usually three anterior temporals which are larger than the others, and the parietals are separated. The body is stout, with 28-32 subequal scales around the middle. Dorsal scales are usually keeled. The tail is about as long as the body and is compressed, and the dorsal caudal scales are keeled. The limbs are short, with the forelimb a little longer than the head; its length is contained nearly 2.5 times in the distance between the axilla and the groin. The digits are short and round, and possess undivided lamellae ventrally (de Rooij 1915).
The body is light brown dorsally, with eight to ten dark brown cross-bands. The flanks and limbs are dark brown, spotted with yellow. The head-shields are edged with brown. A dark brown median line is present on the nape, and the tail is banded. The ventral parts are brown and yellow. The head and body together are 312mm long, and the tail is 245mm long (de Rooij 1915).
It is often difficult to distinguish males from females before sexual maturity, but Gorseman (1998) notes that adult males are “much more heavily built than females", and that "they also have a darker head and develop a type of throat sac.”
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