Bonaire Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus murinus)

…a strikingly marked species of Teiidae lizard which is endemic to the “Netherlands Antilles” and possibly just to the island of Bonaire. Like other members of the genus Cnemidophorus murinus is diurnal and insectivorous, feeding on a range of insects, spiders, and other terrestrial invertebrates during the day. 


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Image: Paul Asman

The Argentine Black and White Tegu (Tupinambis merianae),also known as the Argentine giant tegu, is the largest species of tegu. Tegus fill ecological niches similar to those of monitor lizards, and are an example of convergent evolution.

They are an omnivorous terrestrial lizards that inhabit the tropical rain forests of east and central South America. Just as many other reptiles, Argentine Tegus will go into brumation (a form of hibernation) in autumn when the temperature drops.

Tegus have been observed showing a high level of intelligence and a high level of physical activity during their wakeful period of the year. It is believed that individuals of this species sometimes actively seek human attention, as would a cat or dog.

Photo © David Barkasy


Teiidae is a family of lizards native to the Americas, generally known as Whiptails. The group has over 230 species within ten genera.

Teiids can be distinguished from other lizards by the following characteristics: they have large rectangular scales that form distinct rows ventrally and generally small granular scales dorsally, they have head scales that are separate from the skull bones, and the teiid teeth are solid at the base and “glued” to the jaw bones. Additionally, all teiids have a forked, snake-like tongue. They all possess well-developed limbs.

Teiids are all terrestrial and diurnal, and are primarily carnivorous or insectivorous, although some will include a small amount of plant matter in their diet. They all lay eggs, with some species laying very large clutches.

Certain species of whiptail lizards (genera Cnemidophorus and Aspidoscelis) have all-female or nearly all-female populations. These lizards reproduce by parthenogenesis, and research has shown that simulated mating behavior increases fertility. For instance, one female lies on top of another, engaging in pseudocopulation. When they lay eggs, the lizard that was on bottom has larger eggs while the one on top has smaller. The lizards switchs roles each mating season. The offspring are genetic clones of the mother, sparking debate as to how these lizards evolve or adapt to the environment.

Photos 1-4 [Wikipedia], photo 5 [source]; Info [source]

Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard (Aspidoscelis uniparens)

…an interesting species of Teiid lizard (Whiptail) which occurs in the southern United States, ranging from central Arizona to west Texas, south to Mexico. True to their common name desert grassland whiptail lizards inhabit dry deserts and grasslands. Like other members of their family Aspidoscelis uniparens is an all-female species with individuals reproducing via parthenogenesis


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Image: Greg Hume

So after all my years of looking up as many odd species of reptile as I can, I’m pretty offended I somehow missed the Crocodile Tegu (Crocodilurus Amazonicus) and OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING!

I first heard about this thanks to a monitor group I’m in on FB and whooboy are these things cool.

From Wikipedia -
“Crocodilurus is a lizard genus that belongs to the family Teiidae. It is monotypic, with only a single described species Crocodilurus amazonicus, the crocodile tegu. This semi-aquatic lizard has a flattened, paddle-like tail and is found in the Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield in South America. It feeds on arthropods, amphibians, reptiles and fish.”

Needless to say, I want one.  

Image source - X

Tegus, part two!

This was a friendly little Columbian gold! He was only thirty five dollars, and he was the only gold I saw at the show.

This guy was neat- he’s a black and red cross!

You can’t see in the picture but his belly’s really orange and the breeder thinks he’s gonna get a lot more red as he ages. 

This is a very sweet little red! I gotta say that I’m not in love with this style of display cage for these guys, though- the ones displayed like this seemed really stressed out. I imagine it’s kinda claustrophobic for ‘em. The ones in the tanks can at least run around!

And lat but not least- well, he’s not really a tegu, but he is a teiid. Caiman lizards, which are in the genus Dracaena, are a member of family Teiidae. You can see some family resemblance, can’t you?