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Brief Summary

    Agama agama: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    The common agama, red-headed rock agama, or rainbow agama (Agama agama) is a species of lizard from the Agamidae family found in most of sub-Saharan Africa. To clear up historical confusion based on Linnaeus and other authors, Wagner, et al. (2009) designated a neotype (ZFMK 15222) for the species, using a previously described specimen from Cameroon in the collection of the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig in Bonn. The species name was formerly applied to a paraphyletic collection of taxa, and mitochondrial DNA analysis of various populations indicates they represent separate species., Consequently, three former subspecies A. a. africana, A. a. boensis, and A. a. mucosoensis are now considered separate species, and A. a. savattieri is considered synonymous with A. africana.

Comprehensive Description

    Agama agama
    provided by wikipedia

    The common agama, red-headed rock agama, or rainbow agama (Agama agama) is a species of lizard from the Agamidae family found in most of sub-Saharan Africa. To clear up historical confusion based on Linnaeus and other authors, Wagner, et al. (2009) [1] designated a neotype (ZFMK 15222) for the species, using a previously described specimen from Cameroon in the collection of the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig in Bonn. The species name was formerly applied to a paraphyletic collection of taxa, and mitochondrial DNA analysis of various populations indicates they represent separate species.[2],[3] Consequently, three former subspecies A. a. africana, A. a. boensis, and A. a. mucosoensis are now considered separate species, and A. a. savattieri is considered synonymous with A. africana.[4]

    Description

    Its size varies from 13 to 30 cm (5.1 to 11.8 in) in total length.[5] Males are typically 7.5–12.5 cm (3–5 inches) longer than the average female. The agama lizard can be identified by having a white underside, brown back limbs and a tail with a light stripe down the middle. The stripe on the tail typically possesses about six to seven dark patches along its side. Females, adolescents and subordinate males have an olive green head, while a dominant male have a blue body and yellow tail.

    Distribution and habitat

    The common agama can be found native in countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, and Madagascar.[6],[7] Agama agama is well-suited to arid conditions. These lizards remain active throughout the day except for the hottest hour, when even shady spots can reach 38°C (100°F).[8]

    Diet

    Common agamas are primarily insectivores, but they have been known to eat small mammals, reptiles and vegetation. They catch their prey using their tongue, the tip of which is covered by mucous glands that enable the lizard to hold to smaller prey.[9]

    Behavior

    Male agamas are territorial and must fight other males to claim their space. Agamas live in social groups including a lead male, about half a dozen females, and subordinate males. Subordinate males can only gain their own group if they eliminate the existing lead male (the "cock") or establish a colony outside all other cocks' territory. Only the cock is allowed to mate with the females. The center of a cock's territory is usually marked by the presence of a physical object, such as a tree or boulder, on which the lizards congregate. In urban areas, fights between males are more common because space is at a higher premium.[10]

    Reproduction

    Females are sexually matured at 14–18 months, while males take 2 years. Agama agama tends to reproduce during the wet season, but can also reproduce in areas that receive constant rainfall. After fertilization and when she is ready, the female will dig a hole 5 cm deep with her snout and claws in sandy, wet/damp soil that is covered with grasses or other plants and which receives sunlight during most of the day. Once finished, the female will lay a clutch of five to seven ellipsoidal eggs that hatch within a period of 8–10 weeks. Common agama has thermoregulated embryos, so all male eggs will have a temperature of 29°C, while female eggs will be in the range 26–27°C. After hatching, the offspring will measure 3.7–3.8 cm snout–vent, plus their 7.5-cm tail.[11]

    References

    1. ^ Wagner, Philipp; Wilms, Thomas M.; Bauer, Aaron; Böhme, Wolfgang (2009). "Studies on African Agama. V. On the origin of Lacerta agama Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata: Agamidae)" (PDF). Bonner zoologische Beiträge. 56: 215–223..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ Leaché, A.D. et al. (2009). Phylogeny of the genus Agama based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 56(4) 273-78.
    3. ^ Mediannikov, O., Trape, S. and Trape, J-F. (2012). A Molecular Study of the Genus Agama (Squamata: Agamidae) in West Africa, with Description of Two New Species and a Review of the Taxonomy, Geographic Distribution, and Ecology of Currently Recognized Species. Russian Journal of Herpetology 19(2).
    4. ^ Agama, The Reptile Database
    5. ^ Burton, Maurice and Robert Burton. (2002). International Wildlife Encyclopedia, 3rd edition. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp. p.30.
    6. ^ "Figure 1. Agama agama from Antananarivo Airport (Madagascar). Photo by..." ResearchGate. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
    7. ^ "Agama agama". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
    8. ^ "The Habitat of the Agama Lizard". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
    9. ^ "Agama agama (Common Agama, Rainbow Lizard)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
    10. ^ "The Habitat of the Agama Lizard". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
    11. ^ "Agama agama (Common Agama, Rainbow Lizard)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2017-05-02.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Found in most of sub-Saharan Africa (Harris 1964).

    Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The agama lizard is characterized by its whitish underside, buff brown back limbs and tail with a slightly lighter stripe down the middle and six to seven dark patches to the side of this stripe. There is some sexual dimorphism. The subordinate males, females, and adolescents possess an olive green head. A blue body and yellow tail and head characterize the dominant male. A. agama has a large head separated from the body, a long tail, well-developed external ear openings and eyelids. This lizard also has acrodont, heterodont teeth. The lizard possesses both caniniform incisors for grasping and molariform cheekteeth for crushing. The maximum size for male lizards is twenty-five centimeters and female lizards is twenty centimeters (Harris 1964).

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Rainbow lizards can occupy urban, suburban and wild areas that supply enough vegetation for reproduction and insects for food.

    Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Agama agama are primarily insectivores, however A. agama have been known to eat small mammals, small reptiles, and vegetation such as flowers, grasses, and fruits. Their diet consists of mainly ants, grasshoppers, beetles, and termites (Harris 1964). A. agama is a sit and wait predator (Crews et al., 1983). Hunting by vision, it sits in vegetation, under a rock outcropping, or in the shade and waits until an insect or small mammal walks by and then will chase the prey. They catch their prey by using a tongue with a tip covered by mucous glands; this aids the lizard in holding onto small prey such as ants and termites.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Females reach sexual maturity at age fourteen to eighteen months, males at two years. A. agama reproduces during the wet season although they are capable of reproducing nearly year round in areas of consistant rainfall(Porter et al. 1983). The male will approach the female from behind and head bob to her. If she accepts then she will arch her back with her tail and head raised. The male walks to her side and grasps her neck and puts his leg on the female's back, the pair swivel 90 degrees in order to bring their cloacas together and thrusts his tail onto her cloaca inserting his right or left hemipenes (depending on side location). This mating ritual usually lasts one to two minutes when the female will scurry away and the male also after several minutes (Harris 1964).

    The female lays her eggs in a hole she digs with her snout and claws. The hole is five centimeters deep and is found in sandy, wet, damp soil that is exposed to sunlight nearly all day and covered by herbage or grasses. The eggs are usually laid in clutches ranging from five to seven ellipsoidal eggs. A. agama is a thermoregulated embryo species resulting in all males at twenty-nine degrees Celsius and all females at twenty-six to twenty-seven degrees Celsius (Crews et al. 1983). The eggs will hatch within eight to ten weeks. Hatchlings will be between 3.7 and 3.8 centimeters snoutvent plus their 7.5-centimeter tail. They will almost immediately start eating rocks, sand, plants, and insects. The adolescent will remain solitary for the first two months and by four months live in a gregarious group with a dominant male (cock), several females and some subordinate adolescent males (sub-males). The dominant male has mating distinction within his territory. If a sub-male or intruder tries to mate with his females then there is a challenge or fight. To gain territory males must establish a new territory with no cocks or dispose of the current cock (Harris 1964).

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: no special status