Oplurus cuvieri Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana
Some other names for this species:
Madagascan Spiny-tailed Iguana, Collared Iguana, Black Collared Lizard, Cuvier’s Iguanid
Anjajavy, Mahajanga province, MadagascarMay 7, 2007
Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri) Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri)
When we arrived at the almost embarrassingly luxurious Anjajavy resort, we were treated to a delicious icy fruity drink on a gorgeous patio overlooking a well-maintained swimming pool which in turn overlooked a beautiful rocky beach. My eyes just darted from rock to tree, looking for lizard shapes. It took about thirty seconds to find my first Oplurus cuvieri on a palm tree trunk about fifty feet away. That particular lizard did not pose for my camera, but no matter — the grounds of Anjajavy were crawling with these robust iguanids.

Here is a list of all the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Madagascar.

Anjajavy, Mahajanga province, MadagascarMay 8, 2007
Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri) Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri) Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri)
These lizards remind me of a cross between America's spiny lizards and collared lizards, except that these guys get much larger than their western hemisphere lookalikes. My sister Mary took the third photograph above.
Anjajavy, Mahajanga province, MadagascarMay 9, 2007
Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri) Madagascar Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri)
A couple more of these handsome lizards. The second one looks particularly like a U.S. collared lizard.
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