Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Bronchocela cristatella (Kuhl, 1820)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Agamidae
Genus:Bronchocela
Species:B. cristatella
Common Names:Green Crested Lizard
Status:Uncommon

Description

Measuring 130 mm from snout to vent, this lizard has bright green dorsal and yellowish-green ventral. They may sometimes have white or light blue spots that may form bars, or have white bars. When under stress, they will turn brown or dark grey. They are easily identified by its contrasting dark brown ear. A serrated ridge is present on their backs that do not extend to the tail, and the males have tall neck crests.

Read more about the Squamata order.
Read more about the Agamidae family.

Distribution

Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, the Natuna Archipelago, Pulau Berhala, Pulau Nias, Borneo and Java, the Lesser Sundas, Pulau Buru, Halmahera, Patani, Pulau Ambon, Ternate and Maluku (Indonesia), Luzon, Mindoro, Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, Cebu, Samar, Negros, Panay, Palawan, Bohol and Leyte (the Phillippines), the Nicobar Archipelago (India) and New Guinea.

Localities

Found throughout Singapore and adjacent islands.

Some of the places where they have been recorded include: Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Pulau Tekong, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

A diurnal and arboreal lizard that prefers undisturbed forests, they also inhabit lowlands forest edges and are often seen in parks and gardens. This used to be one the most common agamid lizards in Singapore but has been largely taken over by the Changeable Lizard. They are capable of gliding short distances between trees. Due to their ability to change to brown or dark grey when they are stressed, they have commonly been confused with the chameleon, which are not found here. Unlike true chameleons, they are unable to change into other colours.

Diet

Feed on insects and even skinks.

Life Cycle

Females lay one to four eggs which are buried in soil. The eggs are spindle-shaped with pointed ends. Hatchlings have a snout-vent length of 35 mm.

Other Resources

Ecology Asia. 2012. Green Crested Lizard. http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/lizards/green-crested_lizard.htm. (Accessed September 2012).

Uetz, P. (editor). The Reptile Database: Bronchocela cristatella. http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Bronchocela&species=cristatella&search_param=%28%28genus%3D%27Bronchocela%27%29%28species%3D%27cristatella%27%29%29. (Accessed September 2012).

References

Cox, M. J., P.P. Van Dijk, J. Nabhitabhata & K. Thirakhupt, 2010. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. New Holland (Publishers) Ltd. 144 pp.

Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

Lim, K.K.P. & F.L.K. Lim, 2002. A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

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