(Laemanctus serratus)
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Geographic range: Neotropical: This lizard occurs at low and moderate elevations on the Gulf slope from southern Tamaulipas and the Pacific slope from Oaxaca, south and eastward into the Yucatán Peninsula.

Physical characteristics: Moderately large lizard with an extremely long tail. The length of the body averages 12-13 cm. The body is compressed laterally and the tail is 3.5 times the length of the head and body. The toes are large and slender. Femoral pores are absent. The head is broad, the dorsal surface is flat and the occipital region projects as an occipital casque. A series of elonged conical spines borders the posterior margin of the casque. This lizards are usually green but are capable of a rapid change of color from green to brown. In the green phase the ground color is light green with 4 to 6 dark brown bands, the ventral surface of the body is generally lighter green than the dorsum, a conspicuous white or cream stripe extends from the axils to the groin on ventrolateral surfaces.The sutures of the supralabial scales bear dark brown spots. In the brown phase, the light green ground color changes to a light or medium tan.

Food habits: Sit and wait predators of invertebrates, primarily insects, although some individuals have been reported to feed on snail, lizards and frogs.

Reproduction: This lizard is oviparous , the nests are shallow excavations at bases of trees or eggs are deposited beneath surface debris. The clutch size ranges from 3 to 7 eggs, oviposition occurs in spring or early summer and hatchlings appear in late summer.

Behavior: This lizards are diurnal and can be found on shrubs at heights of 1 to 2 m. , they are occasionally seen running bipedally across roads. They are slow and ungainly and rely on crypsis to avoid detection.

Habitat: Inhabitants of lowland tropical forest, arboreal and perching low on trunks of trees and on lianas.

text: © Alfonso Delgadillo


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