Calotes versicolor — Oriental Garden Lizard
Also known as:
Eastern Garden Lizard, Changeable Lizard, Garden Lizard, Indian Garden Lizard, Common Garden Lizard, Bloodsucker
Calotes versicolor is one of the most common lizards in southeast Asia, being adept at thriving in disturbed habitats as well as in the remaining forests. However, their range does have a large gap in the center of peninsular Malaysia, and I spent much of my visit in that gap. Fortunately for me, on my first night of this trip Kurt "Orion" G took me to a forest trail on the edge of this lizard's range. It seemed as if someone had snuck into the forest just ahead of us with a bucket of lizards and tossed them about randomly.
In Sri Lanka, these lizards are particularly plentiful in disturbed areas and gardens. Here are a couple I found while wandering the grounds of a lodge/house we stayed in for a couple of nights.
They are also at home in more natural places. We saw these two at night in a National Park after hiking a good distance in search of a particular gecko.
Here's a handsome fellow climbing some vegetation near the beach. My first decent daytime photo of this common diurnal species.
I like this photo because the lizard looks very relaxed, and also looks like it has a loop in its tail.
They can be pretty good at the camouflage game.
This tiny baby has not learned the camouflage game yet, it seems.
- Calotes versicolor account on The Reptile Database
- Calotes versicolor account on Ecology Asia
- Calotes versicolor account on iNaturalist
- Das, I. 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-east Asia
- Grismer, L. L. 2011. Lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and their Adjacent Archipelagos
- Manthey, U. 2008. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia: Draconinae 1
- Somaweera, R., Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: A Colour Guide with Field Keys
- de Silva, A., Ukuwela, K. 2017. A Naturalist's Guide to the Reptiles of Sri Lanka