Cercosaura ocellata — Black-striped Forest Lizard
Also known as:
Subspecies I've seen:
C. o. bassleri
Black-striped Forest Lizard
Cercosaura ocellata bassleri — Black-striped Forest Lizard
The youngsters of this species of small leaf-litter-dwelling lizards were easily recognizable by their bright orange-red tails. For small, skittish lizards, they were fairly cooperative in that occasionally one would pose for awhile on top of a small branch or leaf.
I saw a number of the bright-tailed youngsters on the trails at Madre Selva, but to my knowledge never saw an adult.
These pretty little lizards look a lot like the whiptails of the U.S. southwest, but they are not nearly as wary. They tend to move just a few inches at a time and then sit still for awhile, presumably relying on their camouflage in the leaf litter.
I didn't realize that this little lizard was snacking on a tiny cricket until I looked at my photos later on.
My first adult of this species. This one is a female; males have much more prominent "eye spots" on their sides.
- Bartlett, R.D., and Bartlett, P. 2003. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: An Ecotourist's Guide
- Dixon, J. R. and Soini, P. 1986. The Reptiles of the Upper Amazon Basin, Iquitos Region, Peru
- Duellman, W.E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest