Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Red-Headed Rock Agama

The red-headed rock agama, also known as the common agama and rainbow agama, has an orange or yellow head, neck and tail and a blue body. 
Red-headed rock agama in Elmina, Ghana.
Outside of breeding season (breeding season is typically March to May), the male is plain brown, but often has sprinkles of green/yellow on the head. 
With green patches on the head.
They live in small colonies with a dominant male which is polygamous, having six or more females in his territory for breeding. Breeding males do "push-ups" to attract females, something we saw them doing a lot. We also watched one male vigorously chase other lizards away from pieces of lettuce we were tossing to it at an outdoor restaurant in Elmina, Ghana. Females have rufous patches and can also have the yellow/green sprinkles on the head. 
Female agama with rufous patches on the side. This was on a wall at Cape Coast Castle.
The ones I saw were toward the end of the breeding season (late May) and I think the coloration was not as pronounced as it would have been earlier in the breeding season. Note that the bodies were not blue, but were more gray with a little bit of color. 
Big male at Cocunut Grove outside Elmina on the top of the crocodile pen.
We found them in Cape Coast and Elmina, Ghana and I was able to catch several of the large breeding males and hold them for a couple of minutes before releasing them. 
This male in Elmina has striped orange on the underside of its neck.


  1. How do you decide your lizard friend isn't going to take a chunk out of your hand?

  2. These look like something out of a children's coloring book.