11 May 2015

Blandford's Agama - Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm

Whilst birding Ash Shargiyah Development Company Farm I came across a couple of Blandford's Agama that I took for Yellow-spotted Agama Trapelus flavimaculatus sunning themselves and displaying on tall acacia trees, showing off their bright blue throat and belly & orange tail. They are a medium sized lizard about 30 centimetres in length and are also known as Blue-headed Agama for obvious reasons. Their tails are very long and thin and make up over half their body length and they move extremely fast over the ground. The Yellow-spotted Agama is a common species of lizard found in arid regions of the Middle East from Egypt: North of the Eastern Desert & Northern Sinai to the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia. They are readily distinguished from the Sinai agama Pseudotrapelus sinaitus by their heavier build, rougher scales and the presence of a gular sac that is darkened and inflated as a threat display. The ear opening is smaller and its dorsal margin is partially covered by pointed scales. In the summer these lizards often sit atop Acacia trees or prominent rocks as a territorial display and to regulate their temperature. They are quite aggressive with a mainly carnivorous diet of small insects. Their skin colour varies from reddish-brown to olivegreen, and is covered in a pattern of heavy yellowish-white spots. Their tails are normally pale yellow; however, male Yellow-spotted Agamas have the ability to go from this drab coloration to something much more vivid and spectacular. The dull reddish-brownish-green skin turns vivid blue, and the pale yellow tail glows brilliant flaming orange. Sometimes a male Agama will only change partially turning just the underside of his head blue, for instance. The colour change happens in seconds and fades just as quickly. I thank Mansur Al Fahad for kindly pointing me in the right direction with regards to the species involved.
Yellow-spotted Agama

Yellow-spotted Agama

2 comments:

  1. Jem
    by note the spikes on the back and marks on the head I see it Blanford's agama .

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    Replies
    1. Mansur

      I bow to your much greater knowledge on this subject and thanks very muych for the correction.

      Jem

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