14 June 2023

Blandford’s Agama - Jubail

Whilst birding Jubail area 9 June I saw a Blandford’s Agama Trapelus ruderatus resting in the top of a fence on the way out of the location. They are seen occasionally in this area but they are not often seen, although are probably common. They range from northeast Jordan and southern Syria, through northern and eastern Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and southern and central Iran as far south as Shiraz. The species occurs from close to sea level to around 1,000 metres above sea level. It can be moderately common in suitable habitat. This ground-dwelling species is associated with low shrubs (Nitraria) on the fringe of sandy dunes in arid areas and in sandy desert areas. It can sometimes be found perching on bushes but is not found in modified areas. It is very similar to Yellow-spotted Agama Trapelus flavimaculatus but Blanford's Agama has lines on its back that are missing on Yellow-spotted Agama. They remain very still when seen and allow extremely close approach and can be photographed well with a camera phone although these photos below were taken with my 600mm lens.