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Mwanza Flat-Headed Rock Agama (Agama mwanzae), male, Serengeti, Tanzania
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae

6, see text

Fan-throated Lizard Sitana ponticeriana from Agaminae

Agamids, lizards of the family Agamidae, include more than 300 species in Africa, Asia, Australia, and a few in Southern Europe. They are commonly called dragons or dragon lizards. Phylogenetically they may be sister to the Iguanidae, and have a similar appearance. Agamids usually have well-developed, strong legs. Their tails cannot be shed and regenerated like those of geckoes, though a certain amount of regeneration is observed in some.[1][2] Many agamid species are capable of limited change of their colours to regulate their body temperature.[3] In some species, males are more brightly coloured than females[4] and colours play a part in signaling and reproductive behaviours.[5] Although agamids generally inhabit warm environments, ranging from hot deserts to tropical rainforests, at least one species, the Mountain Dragon, is found in cooler regions.

One of the key distinguishing features of the agamids is their teeth, which are borne on the outer rim of the mouth (acrodont), rather than on the inner side of the jaws (pleurodont). This feature is shared with the chameleons, but is otherwise unusual among lizards. Agamid lizards are generally diurnal, with good vision, and include a number of arboreal species, in addition to ground and rock-dwellers. They generally feed on insects and other arthropods (such as spiders), although some larger species may include small reptiles or mammals, nestling birds, flowers or other vegetable matter in their diets.[6] The great majority of agamid species are oviparous.[7]



There have been very few studies of the Agamidae with the first comprehensive assessment by Moody (1980) followed by a more inclusive assessment by Frost and Etheridge (1989). Subsequent studies were based on mitochondrial DNA loci[8][9][10] (using allozymes), and sampling across the Agamidae. Few other studies focused on clades within the family, but the Agamidae have not been as well investigated as the Iguanidae.


Among the Agamidae, six clades or lineages are generally recognized:

The chameleons of the sister family Chamaeleonidae are sometimes discussed as subfamily Chamaeleoninae and subfamily Agaminae (referring to Agamidae, not the Agaminae mentioned above).


  1. ^ Thompson, M.B. (1993). "Estimate of the population structure of the estern water dragon, Physignathus lesueurii (Reptilia : Agamidae), along riverside habitat". Wildlife Research 20(5) 613 - 619 (Australia: CSIRO Publishing) 20 (5): 613-619. doi:10.1071/WR9930613. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  2. ^ Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Bryan L. Stuart (2001). "The Agamid lizard Ptyctolaemus phuwtilmensis Manthey and Nabhitabhata, 1991 from Thailand and Laos represents a new genus". Russian Journal of Herpetology (Folium Publishing Company) 8 (3): 165-170. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  3. ^ de Velasco, Jesus Barraza; Glenn J. Tattersall (September, 2008). "The influence of hypoxia on the thermal sensitivity of skin colouration in the bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps". Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology (Springer Berlin / Heidelberg) 178 (7): 867-875. doi:10.1007/s00360-008-0274-8. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  4. ^ Cuervo, J.J.; R. Shine (10 Jul 2007). "Hues of a dragon's belly: morphological correlates of ventral coloration in water dragons". Journal of Zoology (The Zoological Society of London) 273 (3): 298-304. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  5. ^ LeBas, Natasha R.; N. Justin Marshall (2000). "The role of colour in signaling and male choice in the agamid lizard Ctenophorus ornatus". Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B (The Royal Society) 267: 445-452. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  
  6. ^ Cogger, H.G. (1994). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. New South Wales: Reed. pp. 298. ISBN 0-7301-0088-X.  
  7. ^ Bauer, Aaron M. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 134–136. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.  
  8. ^ Macey et al. (2000)
  9. ^ Honda et al. (2000)
  10. ^ Joger (1991)
  11. ^ Agamidae, UniProt Taxonomy

External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Latin agamus (unmarried).

Proper noun


  1. (taxonomy) A taxonomic family within the order Squamata.


See also


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Diapsida
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Sauria
Infraordo: Iguania
Familia: Agamidae
Subfamiliae: Agaminae - Leiolepidinae - Uromastycinae


Agamidae (correction by Gray, 1827, of 'Agamoidea') Fitzinger, 1826

Type genus: Agama Daudin, 1802


  • Neue Classif. Rept.: 11, 17
  • Wilms, T.M.; Böhme, W.; Wagner, P.; Lutzmann, N.; Schmitz, A. 2009: On the phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Uromastyx Merrem, 1820 (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae: Uromastycinae) - resurrection of the genus Saara Gray, 1845. Bonner zoologische Beiträge, 56(1/2): 55–99. PDF

Vernacular names

English: Old World Arboreal Lizards
Հայերեն: Ագամաներ
日本語: アガマ科
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Agamidae on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

File:Red-headed Rock
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae


Agamidae are a scaled reptile family pertaining to the genus agama. It contains about 350 species in about 50 genera. Agamids usually have scaly bodies, well-developed legs, and a moderately long tail; average body size ranges from 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches), and the tail is 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) long, though the family varies widely.

Look up Agamidae in Wikispecies, a directory of species


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