Morni Wildlife (Herpetofauna): Kashmir Rock Agama

April 30, 2012

Kashmir Rock Agama (Laudakia tuberculata)- a common, medium-sized (5-6 inch), brownish lizard  found in the Himalayas. It is terrestrial and lives in holes and crevices and stone walls. The stone ‘dangahs’ or retaining walls in Morni have these olive-brown lizards living in the holes left as an outlet for releasing the percolated rainwater.  Kashmie agama is omnivorous and feeds on ants, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets and other insects as also tender leaves, flowers and seeds of wild plants. It nips off the buds of flowering plants and is not a welcome garden guest! It is diurnal and can be spotted basking in the sun almost perfectly camouflaged against the rock. It is not poisonous but is known to have a painful bite. It breeds from May to August and lays upto 20 eggs in a single clutch.

The Kashmir Agama has a flat, elongated depressed light-brown head with prominent ridges on both sides extending longitudinally from  above the eye to the nostril. A low spiny ridge from below the eye leads to the tympanum (ear drum). The tympanum is large and distinct and is marked by prominent scales along the circumference. The snout is of moderate length. The trunk is depressed and flat and back is covered with small keeled scales. The tail is long (upto 10 inches), depressed at the base and gradually becomes conical and tapers to a point. The limbs are strong. The third and fourth fingers of the forelegs are the longest and equal in length, the second and fifth are shorter and equal in length, the first is the shortest. The fourth toe of the hind leg is the longest and longer than the third and the fifth that are equal in length, the second is considerably shorter and the first is the shortest. All fingers and toes are slightly compressed and armed with strong claws.

The ground-colour of the upper parts is a dusky brown and the lower parts are whitish. The back is speckled with black/yellowish spots on both sides of a light vertebral line. The throat is reticulated with greenish veins.

References:

  1. The Reptiles of British India; Albert C.N.G. Gunther (1863)

Kashmir Rock Agama, Rasoon, Bhoj Balag (27-2-2011)

Kashmir Rock Agama, Rasoon, Balag (18-9-2010)

 

Kashmir Rock Agama- Reticulated Green Throat

Kashmir Rock Agama -Vertebral Line

 

Kashmir Rock Agama Lizard, Rasoon (2-10-2011)

Kashmir Rock Agama at Rasoon (Courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Kashmir Rock Agama at Rasoon (Courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Filed in: Wildlife

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

Comments (3)

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  1. Atal Pande says:

    Wonderful article sir. Thanks for the helpful information 🙂

  2. atul says:

    Amazing … You are blessed to lead that life of researching nature !

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