The Spiny-Headed Tree Lizard (Plica plica) is an arboreal lizard. It is also called the Collared Tree Lizard, the Collared Tree Runner, or the Harlequin Racerunner.
The Spiny-Headed Tree Lizard is usually olive-green or greenish, with dark-brown mottled markings on its body. Its chin is whitish and its throat is black. Its body is flattened and adapted to living on, and sticking to, the bark of trees. It has a collar, called a ruff, around its neck. It also has spines on its neck. It has green eyes.
It measures 15-17 centimetres (6-7 inches) long.
The Spiny-Headed Tree Lizard is native to the South American countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela, as well as the Caribbean. It prefers forests with lots of trees.
It eats insects, especially ants.
It is diurnal, active during the day, and arboreal, living most of its life in trees. It comes to the ground only to lay eggs.
Females lay about 3 eggs inside rotting trees or in leaf litter. The young lizards hatch from the eggs and can start running immediately.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM