Species of Thailand

Crested green lizard

Bronchocela cristatella, Heinrich Kuhl, 1820

(In Thai: กิ้งก่าเขียวหูดำ)

Bronchocela cristatella, also known as the green crested lizard, is a species of agamid lizard endemic to Southeast Asia.

Geographic range

B. cristatella is found in Malaysia (West Malaysia and Borneo), Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines (Palawan, Calamian Islands, Panay, Luzon), South Thailand, south Myanmar (Tenasserim Hills), and India (Nicobar Islands).

Description

This species is a bright green lizard, sometimes possessing a blue tint on the head. It is able to change colour, turning darker brown when threatened. There is a dark ring around each eye, and a dark spot at the back of the head. The males have a crest on the neck.

It has a very long and thin tail (75% of total length). The body length is of 13 cm, and the total length (body + tail) is of 57 cm.

From C.A.L. Günther (1864) The Reptiles of British India.

Scales of the sides small, there being about forty in one of the transverse scries; ventral scales much larger, in fourteen longitudinal rows. A short scries of three or four larger scales forms a continuation of the superciliary margin; no other large scale on the temple. Nuchal crest low, formed by triangular spines; it is not continued on the back, where the vertebral scales arc scarcely prominent. The fourth hind toe is one-eighth longer than the third. Uniform grass-green.

This species is very common in the Malayan countries and in numerous islands of the East Indian Archipelago—Sumatra, Java, Amboyna, Celebes, Borneo, Booroo, Philippines, &c. It moves and leaps with great quickness among the branches of trees. Cantor saw the colours of these lizards change suddenly to grey, brownish or blackish, sometimes with orange spots or with indistinct black network; large, isolated, round black spots appeared on the head or back or round the tympanum. It attains to a length of 20 inches, the tail measuring 16 inches.

Habitat

B. cristatella is found in forests as well as parks and rural areas.

Conservation status

In Singapore the range of B. cristatella is declining, as it is in competition with the introduced species Calotes versicolor (changeable lizard).

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Subphylum
Vertebrata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Lacertilia
Family
Agamidae
Genus
Bronchocela
Species
Bronchocela cristatella

Common names

  • German:
    • Borneo-Langschwanzagame
    • Borneo-schönechse
    • Blutsaugeragame
  • English: Green crested lizard
  • Thai: กิ้งก่าเขียวหูดำ

Synonyms

  • Bronchocela cristatella, Mirko Barts & Thomas Wilms (2003)
  • Bronchocela cf. cristatella, Maren Gaulke (2001)
  • Bronchocela christatella, Tanya Chan-Ard et al. (1999)
  • Bronchocela cristatella, Maren Gaulke (1999)
  • Bronchocela cristatella, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Bronchocela cristatella, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Calotes cristatellus, Arthur Erwin Brown et al. (1996)
  • Calotes cristatellus, Kiew Bong Heang (1987)
  • Bronchocela petersdoriai, Wolfgang Böhme & Wolfgang Bischoff (1984)
  • Bronchocela cristatella, Ulrich Manthey (1983)

Photos

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Bronchocela cristatella
Bronchocela cristatella
Bronchocela cristatella
Green crested lizard
Bronchocela cristatella
Green crested lizard

Range Map

Distribution map of Crested green lizard, Bronchocela cristatella in Thailand
  • Bang Lang National Park
  • Betong District, Yala
  • Budo - Su-ngai Padi National Park
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Pu - Khao Ya National Park
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Than To District, Yala
Range map of Bronchocela cristatella in Thailand