Sixlined grass lizard

Takydromus sexlineatus

TAXONOMY

Takydromus sexlineatus Daudin, 1802.

OTHER COMMON NAMES English: Oriental six-lined runner.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is a long, slender lizard reaching nearly 14 in (36 cm) in length, of which less than a quarter is head and body. Except for the head shields, all the body and limb scales as well as the tail are roughly keeled. The body is olive green to reddish brown above with light dorsolateral stripes and sometimes spots; the legs and tail are often reddish.

DISTRIBUTION

This species is widespread, extending from southern China through the Malay peninsula to Borneo, Sumatra, and Java.

HABITAT

Grasslands.

BEHAVIOR

This is a very active and acrobatic lizard that climbs easily in vegetation, using its very long and prehensile tail for balance and support.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Insect prey is actively hunted in thick vegetation. It may stand upright, balanced on its tail base, and lunge at flying insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Some populations breed throughout the year, producing up to six small clutches of up to 10 eggs. Fewer clutches and fewer eggs are laid in cooler northern parts of its range.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This species is frequently offered for sale as bird food in pet shops in Hong Kong. ♦

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