Plica plica — Collared Tree Runner
This species was formerly placed in the genus Tropidurus, but I'm glad it was separated out, because (A) these lizards seem very distinct from the other Tropidurus I've seen, and (B) "Plica plica" is really fun to say.
These are very interesting lizards, specialized for a life of running quickly up and down tree trunks. They're basically in this position pretty much all the time, even at night when they're sleeping (as here).
And here's one during the day, simultaneously watching for tasty bugs and also watching for scary photographers.
This colorful young Plica plica was perched on a tree behind the Santa Cruz facility's kitchen. It was willing to hold its pose for me as I slowly crept closer and closer. A few minutes later someone approached a little too quickly and it darted up the tree.
- Bartlett, R.D., and Bartlett, P. 2003. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: An Ecotourist's Guide
- Dixon, J. R. and Soini, P. 1986. The Reptiles of the Upper Amazon Basin, Iquitos Region, Peru
- Duellman, W.E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest