Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Curly-Tailed Lizards


©2001 Melissa Kaplan


These members of the family Tropiduridae (subfamily Leiocephalinae) originate in the Antilles, ranging from from Cuba to Trinidad. There are presently 28 species, including:

L. carinatus. Cuban curly-tail. Cuba. Rocky deserts, often close to shore. To 25 cm (10"). Very large scales. The distinctive black-and-white tail is rolled vertically up and down when excited.

L. personatus. Masked curly-tail. Haiti, Several subspecies. Sandy beaches to open forests. 25 cm (10"). Males attractively colored; highly variable. Whips its reddish tail when disturbed.

L. schreibersi. Red-sided curly-tail. Haiti. Dry, hot habitats. 22 cm (8-9") Distinct lateral fold.

The lizards are typically found in open forests, rocky steppes, and on sandy beaches. In size, the species range from 15-35 cm (6-14"). Strongly built, with tail longer than snout-vent length. Dorsal scales are large, shingled, and strongly keeled. They may have dorsal and caudal crests.

Tail may be whipped or curled up when excited.

Diurnal, oviparous ground-dwellers that feed mainly on arthropods.

Night temps should not drop below 20 C (68 F).

Care as for Leiolepis (butterfly agama).

Obst, F. et al. Completely Illustrated Atlas of Reptiles and Amphibians. TFH Publ, 1988.

TIGR Reptile Database

Need to update a veterinary or herp society/rescue listing?

Can't find a vet on my site? Check out these other sites.

Amphibians Conservation Health Lizards Resources
Behavior Crocodilians Herpetology Parent/Teacher Snakes
Captivity Education Humor Pet Trade Societies/Rescues
Chelonians Food/Feeding Invertebrates Plants Using Internet
Clean/Disinfect Green Iguanas & Cyclura Kids Prey Veterinarians
Home About Melissa Kaplan CND Lyme Disease Zoonoses
Help Support This Site   Emergency Preparedness

Brought to you thanks to the good folks at Veterinary Information Network, Inc.

© 1994-2014 Melissa Kaplan or as otherwise noted by other authors of articles on this site