Agama is a species of lizard. There are more than 60 species of agama that are native to Africa, Europe and Asia. Agamas is the dominant species of lizard in Africa. In the past, agamas lived in the forests of Africa. As the forests began to disappear, Agama managed to adapt to living in open spaces. Most types of agamas live in mountains, rocky steppes, and arid areas. Certain types of agama have adapted to life in both rural and urban areas. Some people keep agamas as pets because of their beautiful body color. Agamas are not listed as endangered animals.
While most agamas are green and brown, dominant males show off by rapidly turning their bodies blue and their heads bright red or yellow.
Agama can reach 15.7 inches in length.
Most agamas live in small groups with the dominant male ruling over several females and sub-males.
Head, neck and thighs of agamas are covered with scales.
While sunning themselves each morning, the dominant male will claim the most elevated spot, with subordinates in lower areas.
Agamas live in groups that are composed of one dominant male, couple subordinate males and large number of females.
Agamas hunt by vision and prefer to wait for an insect to come by.
Dominance in the group is accomplished through fights. Dominant male is called “cock”. This male enjoys certain privileges: he mates with females and gets the best place for rest.
Agamas sticky tongues help them hold onto prey.
Color of the agama’s body depends on its gender and its position within the group. All females are green or brown. Subordinate males have a body that is brown, gray, red, blue, or yellow in color. Dominant male is brightly colored. It has blue body with red (or yellow) head.
According to species, agamas live in forest, in bush, among rocks and on crags, but where their habitat has been cleared, or simply invaded by humans, some species also adapt to life in villages and compounds, for example inside the thatch of huts and other sheltering crevices.
Because of the impressive coloration of the body of the dominant male, these lizards are sometimes called “rainbow lizards”.
Agamas are diurnal, active during the day.
Agama primarily feeds on insects. It lays motionless and waits for the insects to appear. It catches the insects by using its long and sticky tongue. Agama usually eats ants, crickets, caterpillars, worms and spiders.
They can tolerate higher temperatures than most reptiles, but when temperatures approach 38 °C (100 °F) they generally shelter in the shade.
People enjoy having agamas in their neighborhood because they eliminate all the pests from their houses and yards.
Males frequently threaten each other by nodding, weaving, and displaying their brightest colours to establish dominance.
Agama also eats seeds, berries, fruits and eggs of other lizards and birds.
Though not formally polygamous, dominant males commonly accommodate several females at a time in their territory.
Agama has well developed sense of vision, which is used both for hunting of the prey and for avoiding the predators.
Females occasionally initiate courtship by offering their hindquarters to the male and provoking him to catch her.
Main predators of agamas are snakes.
Their jaws are very powerful, and older males commonly have damaged tails as souvenirs of past combat.
Mating season depends on the weather. It takes place after rainy season that will lead to increase in the insect population. Increased amount of available food is essential for females to become ready to lay eggs.
Agamas are mainly insectivorous, hunting prey by sight and snatching it opportunistically.
Female releases between 2 and 20 eggs from June to September. She digs 2-inches deep hole in the moist and sandy ground where eggs will be hidden until the time of hatching.
The female lays her eggs in a hole she digs with her snout and claws.
Depending on the species, eggs will hatch after incubation period that lasts between 1.5 and 4.5 months.
Females reach sexual maturity at age fourteen to eighteen months, males at two years.
Agama can survive for a long period of time in the wild. Average lifespan of agama is between 25 and 28 years.