Agama at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya
Agama sp?
Lake Nakuru National Park
July 16, 2000
I saw this lizard patrolling a rocky hilltop at Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley. It seems likely that it is a Common Agama Agama agama, because I also saw obvious members of that species in the same location. But it looked enough different than the others that I'm holding out the hope that it's a different species. Adult male Agama agama lizards had dark heads, and adult females had green flecks on their head. This lizard's head was more yellowish, without green flecks, and the red spots near the hind legs seemed distinctive. On the other hand, Agama agama is quite the color changer, so perhaps this is just another of the variations.

The EMBL Reptile Database lists 4 Agama species in Kenya: A. agama, A. caudospinosa (aka A. caudospina), A. hartmanni, and A. ruepelli (aka A. ruppelli). Based on its rocky habitat I doubt it's A. ruepelli, the Arboreal Agama. But A. caudospinosa, the Elmenteita Rock Agama, sounds suspicious, since Lake Elmenteita is only a few miles from Lake Nakuru. But other than name I've so far learned nothing about either A. caudospinosa or A. hartmanni.

Please send me mail if you have any further information, reference suggestions, or wild guesses that might help me identify this agama.

7/7/00 -- Dr. Drewes identified this agama as Agama agama lionatus, probably a sub-dominant male.

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