With a new creature feature every quarter, this page will keep you updated on the species you can find in your city.
The Backyard Biodiversity for kids section will feature a different species – birds, trees, animals, insects – every three months, with a focus on those that you can find in & around your city or maybe a little further away. Keep checking this space to learn interesting information about the creatures & trees that we share our habitat with.
Oriental Garden Lizard
The Garden Lizard of India is also known as the Changeable Lizard because it is able to change colours! This Lizard is widely distributed around the continent of Asia and is found all over India.
Adult Garden Lizards have feet as long as their heads whereas the young lizards have feet that are even longer. Their colours range from uniform brown to greyish-olive to yellowish. On a hot sunny day a solitary lizard may be seen on a twig or on a wall, basking in the sun, with its mouth wide open. After a shower of rain numbers of them are seen to come down on the ground and pick up the larva and small insects which fall from the trees during the rain!
They are insectivores. This means that they eat mostly insects as their food. Their prey is swallowed whole, after it is stunned by shaking it about.
Sometimes, young inexperienced lizards may choke on prey which is too large. They regularly shed their skin like other reptiles, but their tails do not regrow if cut off like other lizards. Like chameleons, these lizards have the special ability of moving each of their eyes in different directions!
When the female is ready to give birth, the male’s head and shoulders turn bright orange to crimson and his throat becomes black. Males also turn red-headed after a successful battle with rivals. Thus they are also called “Bloodsucker Lizards” (although they don’t actually suck anybody’s blood). Both males and females have a crest from the head to nearly the tail, hence their other common name “Crested Tree Lizard”.
If you want to see your biodiversity article on this page, send us a write up and some colorful pictures of a critter found in your backyard and we will put it up!