Plica cf. plica — undescribed species
I had identified the lizards on this page as Plica plica, but a 2013 paper came along and restricted that species to the Guiana Shield. This same paper says "The survey of the specimens examined here suggests Peru has at least three distinct species", but leaves them all undescribed. So for now at least any of these lizards from Peru that were formerly included in Plica plica now don't have an official name. Poor things.
These are very interesting lizards, specialized for a life of running quickly up and down tree trunks. They're basically in this position pretty much all the time, even at night when they're sleeping (as here).
And here's one during the day, simultaneously watching for tasty bugs and also watching for scary photographers.
This colorful young Plica was perched on a tree behind the Santa Cruz facility's kitchen. It was willing to hold its pose for me as I slowly crept closer and closer. A few minutes later someone approached a little too quickly and it darted up the tree.
- John C. Murphy, Michael J. Jowers, 2013. Treerunners, cryptic lizards of the Plica plica group (Squamata, Sauria, Tropiduridae) of northern South America
- 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