Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You

Peter’s Rock Agama, previously thought to be related to the Redhead Agama, is no relation at all according to new genetic studies done by the University of Florida. Relation or not it is here to stay in Florida in ever increasing numbers as its population settles into a comfortable breeding routine at home in urban areas where concrete constructions mimic the rocky desert landscapes its overseas brethren are used to in its native Africa. As usual, the introduction of this lizard has come via the pet trade, which is notably to blame for many of the Sunshine State’s invasive wildlife problems.

A Peter’s Rock Agama sunning itself on the sidewalk in downtown Vero Beach.
This individual looks like it is in the process of shedding its skin.
This is a male denoted by its bright and varied coloration. Females are drab looking.
According to the University of Florida, “Peters’s rock agama are carnivorous. In their native range of East Africa, they are mostly insectivorous but have also been observed eating small mammals, birds, small reptiles, and vegetation such as flowers, grasses, and fruit.”

Besides its rather zesty technicolor coloration, the other startling thing about this lizard is its size. Individuals can grow up to a foot in length making for crowded sidewalks when a group of them get together.

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