Behavioral Ecology and Microhabitat Use by Lyriocephalus scutatus (Linnaeus, 1758): a Monotypic Genus in Sri Lanka (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) with Notes on the Taxonomy

D. M. S. Suranjan Karunarathna, A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe


Lyriocephalus scutatus is an endemic, relict and near threatened arboreal agamid lizard species representing a monotypic genus, Lyriocephalus of Sri Lanka, which is found in forests, plantations and home gardens in the wet and intermediate zones below 900 m a.s.l. This work is mainly based on examination of Iconotype, WHT collection as well as published literature and our observations in last decade. The analysis of habitat data has shown that this species is widely spread within the well shading natural forested areas and poorly in the home gardens. The results of this survey indicate that L. scutatus lays about 2 – 4 eggs in range 23.1 – 25.1 mm (mean 24.2 ± 0.55) long and 14.6 – 15.3 mm (mean 15.0 ± 0.22) wide from February–April and October – December. These lizards’ natural predators are arboreal colubrid snakes, slender loris, civet cats, toque monkeys and many birds of prey. The current habitat destruction is the huge threat to this species. The paper present parameters may helpful in ex-situ conservation of L. scutatus, especially in captive breeding programs.


biology; conservation; distribution; habitat; hemipenis; iconotype; predator; territory

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