The Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) is an agamid reptile. It is in the family of Agama Lizards. It is also known as the Oriental Garden Lizard and the Eastern Garden Lizard.
The Changeable Lizard ranges in colour from light-brown to greyish. It has a short crest above the neck with small spines, which continue to the tail. There are light-grey lines radiating from its eyes. Like chameleons, the Changeable Lizard can move its eyes in different directions.
Its fourth toe on the hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. The male has swollen cheeks and, when it is mating season, its head turns bright orange and its throat turns black.
It measures about 37 centimetres (14.5 inches) in length.
The Changeable Lizard is widespread in Asia, from Iran to China and south to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It can be found in parks and gardens in low bushes.
It is an insectivore, because it mainly eats insects. It also eats other lizards and mice.
The female Changeable Lizard is oviparous. She lays eggs in a hole in a tree, or in the ground, covering them with soil. She lays 5-16 eggs, which hatch after 6-7 weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM