Color Changes During Courtship and Mating of the Green Crested Lizard, Bronchocela cristatella (Kuhl, 1820) (Squamata: Agamidae) with a Discussion of its Behavioral and Evolutionary Significance

Evan S.H. Quah, Choo Tse Chien, Mohd Abdul Muin, Shahrul Anuar Mohd Sah


We report on the courtship and mating behaviors of the Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) observed on August 2010 at the Sedim River Recreational Forest, Kedah, Malaysia. The courtship of the male was accompanied by a darkening of the usual green body colors to dark brown and a pattern of stereotyped behaviors common to many lizards including erection of the nuchal crest, expanding the throat pouch and head-bobbing. Drastic color changes from green to dark brown are known for this species when they are stressed but this is the first time this color change has been noted in courtship.  This initial observation leaves a lot of room for future research into the detailed mating and signaling behavior of this species and other lizards in Souteast Asia.


Bronchocela cristatella; agamid; lizard; courtship; mating; color change; signaling

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