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Over the rainbow

Costa Rican Rainbow Galliwasp (c) Andrew Gray

Costa Rican Rainbow Galliwasp (c) Andrew Gray

Check out this little chap – a Rainbow Galliwasp, one of Costa Rica’s most colourful lizards. This one’s a very small hatchling, but like an adult galliwasp he usually lives hidden amongst the leaf litter on the rainforest floor. These reptiles belong to a group of lizards called the ‘Anguids’, the same as our European Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis.

In the neotropics 2 species of this group belonging in the genus Diploglossus occur, including this Costa Rican species. The other species, D. millepunctatus, is restricted to Malpelo Island, located off the Pacific coast of Colombia, but what a beauty this is!

Apparently the adult lizards can grow up to 20cm long, and people in northwestern and eastern Panama know it by the names ‘scorpion coral’ and ‘madre de culubra’, This `mother of coral snakes’ is believed by them to be poisonous and so is somewhat feared. From its colourful scales I can kind of see why some might be wary.

Certainly if the bite from this youngster is anything to go by I am pretty sure an adult rainbow galliwasp would give a person walking barefoot through the rainforest a bite on the toe they wouldn’t be getting over it in hurry! lol

SLOW WORMS                       LEGLESS IN CORFU

As views reach 400,000, I would like to thank you so much for following frogblog and invite you to visit the archives (top left) to look back over the past 7 years!

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