Added 18 June 2013.

A look at the Family Agamidae


Blue-Mouthed Agamas


The genus Aphaniotis contains three species found in SE Asia from Thailand to Indonesia. A fourth species, A. nasuta, was declared synonymous with A. ornata in 2000.

Boulenger and Manthey and Schuster list the following characteristics for the genus: body laterally compressed; limbs very long and slender; 5th toe much longer than 1st; all scales keeled, dorsals heterogeneous; weakly developed dorsal and nuchal crests; gular pouch in males; frontal appendages formed of tuberculate or conical scales; tympanum barely or not at all visible; no preanal or femoral pores.

So far I have not encountered these in the pet trade, but Manthey and Schuster claim that the lowland species do well in the terrarium on a diet of small insects. They suggest that the highland species be provided with a planted rainforest- or cloud-forest terrarium. They give details for the husbandry of A. acutirostris, Rogner, for the husbandry of A. fusca. Both parties refer to these agamids as delicate.

Species Name

Common Name





A. acutirostris

Indonesian Earless Agama

Indonesia (inc. Nias, Sumatra and Borneo)

SVL 6-7 cm; TL 17½ cm

Scalation details: larger convex scale above rostral, projecting forward; nostrils in middle of an elongated nasal that is separated from the rostral by a small scale whose anterior part forms a suture with the 1st supralabial; 8 supralabials; 9 sublabials; a row of scales larger than those surrounding it runs from the back of each eye to the auricular region; the upper part of the neck contains a few isolated enlarged scales; occipital crest is composed of numerous small dentine scales, low and equal to one another, and which above the shoulder region are so reduced as to almost reduce the dorsal crest to nothing; scales covering the top of the head are keeled, while those along the median line, the ocular region and the occipital are the largest; small scales of submental area and throat are strongly keeled; small gular sac; dorsal scales much larger than lateral scales and arranged in longitudinal rows; lateral scales much smaller, more weakly keeled, with an irregular scattering of larger ones; ventral scales strongly keeled and much larger than lateral scales. Tail: slender, rounded, measuring twice SVL and covered with equally keeled scales. Other: head quadrangular and pyramidal, snout pointed and slightly upturned; limbs thin, with the outer scales larger than the inner scales and significantly keeled; 4th finger longest; tympanum hidden. Coloration: body overall light brown with darker markings; sometimes distinct dark lines radiating from eye; throat darker, sometimes with black spots; undersides otherwise whitish; inside of mouth blue. Reproduction: no details currently available. [SOURCE: Modigliani].

A. fusca

Dusky Earless Agama, Peninsular Agama

S Thailand, West Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (inc. Nias, Sumatra and Borneo)

SVL 6-6½cm (m); TL 14-15½ cm (m)

Within their range these agamids are found in shaded rainforest near streams. Males and females live in close proximity on trees, often with or near to juveniles. Scalation details: upper head scales sharply keeled, largest on supraorbital region; 7-8 supralabials; 7-8 infralabials; enlarged dorsal keels form longitudinal rows; lateral scales small, feebly keeled, intermixed with scattered enlarged ones; ventral scales largest; dorsal surfaces of limbs with large equal keeled scales; tail covered with equal, strongly keeled scales. Other: snout pointed, a little longer than diameter of orbit, with sharp canthus rostralis; tail roundish, slender; 5th toe as long as 3rd. Coloration: rather uniformly brownish to olive; dark spot on snout; two dark bands across supraocular region; limbs often with light patches; throat brown, sometimes with dark lines; otherwise whitish underneath; inside of mouth pale blue. Hatchlings have pale flecks on the back that form a longitudinal stripe, and dark brown sides. Reproduction: annual; female lays 1-2 eggs. Females are somewhat smaller than males. [SOURCE: Boulenger, de Rooij, Rogner]

A. ornata

Ornate Earless Agama

Malaysia (Sabah), Indonesia (N Borneo)

Scalation details: conical rostral appendage with small imbricate scales; 7 supralabials, 7 sublabials; oblique fold in front of shoulder; all scales keeled; scales on nape strongly keeled. Other: rounded canthus rostralis. Coloration: overall brownish red with light spots under the eyes. [SOURCE: de Jeude (note – this information pertains only to the original type specimen)]