Uranoscodon superciliosus Diving Lizard
Also known as:
Brown Tree-climber, Mop-headed Iguana, Mophead Iguana
Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Amazonas, BrazilNovember 15, 2006
Diving Lizard (Uranoscodon superciliosus) Diving Lizard (Uranoscodon superciliosus)
This was a wonderfully strange little lizard that my wife Monica spotted skittering around sideways on a large tree trunk like a long-leggedy spider. At first I thought it was an anole like others we had seen, but I soon realized that it had different proportions and a dramatically different style of movement. I still thought it was an anole, just some other type. After asking for identification help on fieldherpforum.com, I came to the conclusion that it was a tiny baby U. superciliosus.

These lizards are called "Diving Lizards" because they dive into the water to escape danger. They're also called "Brown Tree-climbers" because they're brown, and climb trees (who would've guessed?). And most enjoyably they're called "Mop-headed Iguanas" because the adults have strange frills on their heads. They occupy a unique feeding niche — they mostly eat bugs, both living and dead, washed up along the shores of streams and rivers.

Here is an account of the four days we spent at Uakari Floating Lodge in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve.

Printed references: