Stenocercus fimbriatus — Western Leaf Lizard
These ground-dwelling lizards are amazingly good dead-leaf mimics, and they know it. They sit perfectly still, relying on their camouflage, unless approached very closely. Then they race off a ways and freeze once again. This one is not in full camouflage mode because I managed to catch it and get it to pose for a few moments on a small branch.
Here's a more typical position, poised in the leaf litter and partly obscured by it.
Here's another that I managed to catch and pose in the open.
I had good luck with these lizards this year. I saw a number of them either before they ran off, or after they ran just a short distance and then struck a pose of "you can't see me because I am so well-camouflaged".
Another nicely self-posed little camouflaged lizard.
I laughed out loud when I saw each of these two leaf lizards. (The second and third photos are of the same lizard from opposite angles.) Did they think they were hidden, sitting completely exposed on high-contrast backgrounds? They must have been pretty confident, since neither of them moved when I (and then several others) took their photos. So much for their much-vaunted camouflage.
- 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