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Peters's rock agama

Peters’s Rock Agama EDIS Publication “Agamaversary”

One year ago today (October 12, 2020), my co-author Dr. Steven Johnson and I published our highly anticipated EDIS publication “Peters’s Rock Agama in Florida.”  We are calling it our first “agamaversary.”  First introduced to Florida through the exotic pet trade, Peters’s rock agama (Agama picticauda) were released from captivity and their population has expanded widely in central and south Florida.  *Please note that two “s’s” in Peters’s is not a typo.

Agama Distribution Map

Approximate range of Peters’s rock agama in Florida, 2020. This map is based on records in EDDMapS, the FLMNH hereptology database, Enge et al. (2004), Nunez et al. (2016), and personal communications with colleagues. The presumptive population in Duval Co. (see Powell et al. 2016) is excluded due to a lack of recently documented records. Note there are numerous additional records of single Agama individuals in the Peninsula reported in EDDMapS that are not included here. Thus, this map approximates the minimum extent of the species establishment in Florida. Source: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/UW476

Males are striking because of their relatively large size compared to natives such as green anoles.  Their most distinguishing characteristic is the male’s bright red or orange head, black body and black-tipped tail immediately preceded by orange coloration.  Females have a more subdued, drab coloration.  You too can take part in our 1-year Agamaversary by learning more about Peters’s rock agama in our UF/IFAS EDIS Publication “Peters’s rock agama in Florida.

Male Peters's Rock Agama

Adult male Peters’s rock agama.
Credit: Pam Harting, Florida Master Naturalist

Female Adult Peters's Rock Agama

Adult female Peters’s rock agama. Note the shedding skin on this female’s thighs. Like snakes, lizards shed their skins as they grow, but unlike snake skin, lizard skin flakes off in patches.
Credit: Pam Harting, Florida Master Naturalist

Reference
Gioeli, K. and Johnson, S. (2020). Peters’s rock agama in Florida. [UF/IFAS EDIS] https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/UW476


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