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

Japalura Lizards

Melissa Kaplan, 2002


There are some twenty species of lizards in the genus Japalura. One of the general common names for this agamid genus is mountain lizard.

Native to the montane rainforests, these species' range from the Indo-Australian archipelago, up through Indo-China, Japan, China, and the Himalayas.

Looking much like hatchling green iguanas, these lizards range in size from 6-16 inches (15-40 cm). Their bodies are slightly compressed laterally, with their tails about twice the length of their body. A low crest runs along their back from their head down their tail. The scales of the back are large, shingled (overlapped) and keeled (prominent center ridge); their belly scales are also keeled. In color they range from brown to green.

Habit and Habitat
These terrestrial lizards do some climbing on rocks and in low woody vegetation. Primarily carnivorous, they eat insects, while larger lizards may take pink mice. Coming as they do from the montane rainforests, they require a humid habitat and water for drinking. Not much else is known about these oviparous lizards.

Set them up in a terrestrial enclosure with some branches or cut logs and/or rocks for them to climb on for basking. Temperature requirements are ill-defined as "room temperature". Keep them as one would other montane agamid species such as the toad-headed agama or the tree or mountain dragons.


J. tricarinata. Cloud-forest agama. Native to the Himalayas, to 9800 feet (3000m), these lizards are about 7 in (18 cm) STL and semi-arboreal in habit. When exited, the mostly brown males turn green with a dark stripe running from eye to shoulder.

For information on the following species, see the Agamidae: Japalura page at the TIGR Reptile Database.

J. andersoniana
J. brevipes
J. chapaensis
J. dymondi
J. fasciata
J. flaviceps
J. grahami
J. hamptoni
J. kaulbacki
J. kumaonensis
J. luei
J. major
J. makii
J. micangshanensis
J. planidorsata
J. polygonata
J. polygonata polygonata, J. p. ishigakiensis.
Okinawan (Sakishima) tree lizard.
J. sagittifera
J. splendida
J. swinhonis
J. tricarinata
J. varcoae
J. variegata
J. yunnanensis

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