09 May 2016

Starred Agama near Tabuk – Record by Viv Wilson

Viv Wilson recently sent me some photos of a Starred Agama from near Tabuk that were identified to species by Mansur Al Fahad. I would like to thank both Viv and Mansur for the identification and use of the photos respectively. The starred Agama Laudakia stellio, also known as Rough-tailed Agama, is a large with a flattened, spiny body, a wide, triangular head, long legs and a long tail. The neck is particularly spiny, and rows of spines run across the body, flanks and tail. They are generally light or dark brown to grey or charcoal-coloured with a series of yellowish, diamond-shaped markings along the back. However, the Starred Agama is quite variable in appearance across its range and has a length of up to 30 centimetres. Like many other members of the Agamidae family, the starred agama is capable of quite rapid colour changes, with individuals typically becoming lighter when warm and darker when cold. They are usually active during the day and often hides in holes and crevices. The starred agama ranges from Greece and Cyprus in south-eastern Europe, through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and into the Middle East, northern Saudi Arabia and northern Egypt. It is found in a variety of arid and semi-arid habitats, including rocky hillsides, scrubland, grassland, and cultivated areas.
Starred Agama