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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Calotes is a genus of lizards in the draconine clade of the family Agamidae. The genus contains 27 species. Some species are known as forest lizards, others as "bloodsuckers" due to their red heads, and yet others (namely C. versicolor) as garden lizards.




Calotes versicolor, male,
Oriental garden lizard

Scientific classification :










Cuvier, 1817[1]

Species :

see left ( 27 species )


Geographic range :


Species in the genus Calotes are native to South Asia, southern China, mainland Southeast Asia and Ambon. Additionally, C. versicolor has been introduced to Florida (USA), Borneo, Sulawesi, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Oman.[2] The greatest species richness of the genus is from the Western Ghats, northeast India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


Description :


Calotes is distinguished from related genera in having uniform-sized dorsal scales, and lacking a fold of skin extending between the cheek and shoulder, and in having proportionately stronger limbs than Pseudocalotes. Compared to Bronchocela, Calotes have a proportionately shorter tail and limbs. Calotes as we know it today was classified by Moody (1980) prior to which all of the above-mentioned genera were included in this genus.



Taxonomy :


The genus Calotes is still a heterogeneous group that may be divided into the C. versicolor and C. liocephalus groups.[3] The former occurs through most of South Asia and further east. All species in this group have their dorsal and lateral scales directed upward. The latter is restricted to the southern Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. All species in this group have their scales directed back, or up and down, or down only. Whether further splitting is necessary or whether the groups constitute subgenera of a monophyletic Calotes remains to be studied.

Species :


Listed alphabetically.[4]


  • Calotes andamanensis Boulenger, 1891 – Andaman and Nicobar forest lizard, green crestless forest lizard

  • Calotes aurantolabium Krishnan, 2008 – orange-lipped forest lizard

  • Calotes bachae Hartmann et al., 2013[5]

  • Calotes bhutanensis Biswas, 1975

  • Calotes calotes (Linnaeus, 1758) – common green forest lizard

  • Calotes ceylonensis (F. Müller, 1887) – painted-lip lizard, Ceylon bloodsucker

  • Calotes chincollium Vindum, 2003

  • Calotes desilvai Bahir & Maduwage, 2005 - Morningside lizard, Ceylon black-band whistling lizard

  • Calotes ellioti Günther, 1864 – Elliot's forest lizard

  • Calotes emma Gray, 1845 – Emma Gray's forest lizard, forest crested lizard

    • Calotes emma alticristatus K.P. Schmidt, 1925

    • Calotes emma emma Gray, 1845

  • Calotes grandisquamis Günther, 1864 – large-scaled forest lizard

  • Calotes htunwini Zug & Vindum, 2006

  • Calotes irawadi Zug, Brown, Schulte & Vindum, 2006

  • Calotes jerdoni Günther, 1870 – Jerdon's forest lizard

  • Calotes kingdonwardi (M.A. Smith, 1935) – Kingdonward's bloodsucker

  • Calotes liocephalus Günther, 1872 – spineless forest lizard, crestless lizard, lionhead agama

  • Calotes liolepis (Boulenger, 1885) – whistling lizard, Sri Lanka agama

  • Calotes manamendrai (Amarasinghe & Karunarathna, 2014)

  • Calotes maria Gray, 1845 – Khasi Hills forest lizard

  • Calotes medogensis (Zhao & Li, 1984) – Medog bloodsucker

  • Calotes mystaceus (A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1837) – Indo-Chinese forest lizard, blue-crested lizard

  • Calotes nemoricola Jerdon, 1853 – Nilgiri forest lizard

  • Calotes nigrilabris (W. Peters, 1860) – black-cheek lizard

  • Calotes nigriplicatus Hallermann, 2000

  • Calotes pethiyagodai (Amarasinghe, Karunarathna & Hallermann, 2014)

  • Calotes rouxii Duméril & Bibron, 1837 – Roux's forest lizard, Roux's forest Calotes

  • Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802) – Oriental garden lizard, changeable lizard, eastern garden lizard

    • Calotes versicolor farooqi Auffenberg & Rehman, 1993 – black-throated bloodsucker

    • Calotes versicolor versicolor (Daudin, 1802)

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses or a trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species or the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Calotes.

Gallery :

A garden Lizard, South India.

A female Oriental garden lizard, Calotes versicolor.

A juvenile male garden lizard seen in Andhra Pradesh, India.

A garden lizard, South India.

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

A female Calotes at Pune, India.

Video : 

Calotes versicolor or Garden Lizard

Species :  ( Only Those in pet trade or have agood future .. ) 

1- Calotes calotes -  The common green forest lizard

Calote Lizard Care :


courtesy to :



Calotes versicolor can be shades of red, brown, blue, and green.

If you’ve never heard of a calote lizard, you’re not alone. These lizards are known by a few other different monikers. The most common secondary name for the calote is Oriental Garden Lizard, but the lizards in the calote family are also known as tree dragons and even “bloodsuckers.” We’re kind of puzzled by that last one since calote lizards certainly aren’t vampiric at all.

This Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) has very red tones to its scales. We’ll detail their care in this article.

Caring for Calote Lizards


As its common name suggests, the Oriental garden lizard has a wide range across Asia. It can be found in Southwest Asia to Sri Lanka as well as from South China into Sumatra. It is a hardy little lizard that acclimates to its habitat rapidly, meaning that it is definitely not an endangered or threatened species and can be found commonly in its home range.


Calotes are mid-size lizards with decent life spans in captivity. They range in size from sixteen to twenty inches long and can live for up to ten years. Males are larger than females and often have pronounced crests running along their backs. People are often attracted to calotes, particularly Calotes versicolor because of the bright colors these lizards display. The versicolor in particular can be red, purple, green, brown, blue and any combination of those colors mixed together.


Calotes are arboreal lizards and spend a lot of time in trees. This means that in captivity, your calote will need a cage or enclosure with plenty of room to explore and stretch its legs. We highly recommend a home with lots of foliage (either natural or artificial is fine) or other cage furniture to facilitate climbing.

Multiple calotes can be kept in the same enclosure provided you give them enough room. Just be sure that all the lizards are of similar size so that no cannibalism occurs unintentionally. Males will become territorial as they mature, so it’s also unwise to keep two males in the same enclosure, but multiple females shouldn’t be an issue.


Because they are diurnal lizards, calotes of all species will require UV lighting and a heat source. Make sure you are using a full spectrum bulb as UVA and UVB rays are required for calotes to synthesize vitamin D3. Ambient cage temperature on the hot side of the cage should be around eighty degrees or hotter because calotes are tropical lizards. Temperatures that are too cold will slow down their metabolisms and could even cause digestive issues.


Depending on the species of calote lizard, you should feed it a diet of invertebrates and vegetable matter. Calotes will eat mostly crickets as far as insects are concerned, but they are also known for accepting wax worms and meal worms from tongs or fingers. If your calote enjoys vegetables, feel free to give it leafy greens and fruit. However, be sure to remove any uneaten food at the end of each day to avoid spoilage and the potential for bacteria to aggregate in the food dish.


Calotes might not drink water from a dish, but it is important that a dish with clean water always be available. We recommend one that is large enough for the lizard to sit in and have a soak if it desires. As we previously mentioned, calotes are tropical lizards and require humidity to stay healthy, so a water dish is a great way to make sure this occurs.


In order to ensure your calote receives proper nutrition, we recommend dusting your feeder insects with calcium at each feeding. A multivitamin dusting can be done less frequently. We advise once per week.



This is a very colorful male Oriental garden lizard. Notice its spiked crest.

As far as personality goes, calotes are not aggressive, but they can be flighty. Initially, when you take them out of their cage, they will be skittish, but as you handle them more and more, they will grow accustomed to you. It also doesn’t hurt to offer food when you take them out so that handling time becomes a pleasant experience for them.


If you think you’re ready for a tropical pet calote, Backwater Reptiles sells these colorful lizards. They’re fairly easy to care for and we do recommend them for people who are fairly new to keeping lizards.

Agamidae :  Introduction 

Agamidae Species : Africa  -  Asia  -  Australia & Papua new guinea

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