Cone-headed Lizard

Cone Headed Lizard, Laemanctus longipes

cone_headed_lizardDescription: These medium-sized lizards have an extremely long tail and can attain a total length of 70cm. Their skin is bright green to help camouflage themselves in the rainforest habitat to which they belong. They have slender bodies with long arms and legs, an adaptation that allows them to rest upon broad leaves and branches within the rainforest. Being highly arboreal they rarely descend to the forest floor, with the exception of when the female digs a hole in the ground in which to deposit her eggs.

Reproduction: Mating takes place in the canopy when the pair can be safe from many of their predators that live at ground level. The male uses the cone on the head to hold on to the female during copulation. Gestation of the eggs may take up to 2 months before the female is ready to deposit them. When this time comes she descends to the forest floor and digs a hole to lay her eggs. She may also use cavities of fallen and rotting trees in which to lay her eggs. She normally lays between 4 and 6 oval shaped eggs, which she immediately buries. This is as much parental care that they will receive from the parent. The eggs hatch at around 2 months incubation period and the young emerge as miniatures of the adult, fully developed and totally independent.

Diet: Invertebrates.

Distribution: Central American Rainforest, Southern Mexico.

Conservation status: Least concern

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