Added 28 June 2022.

A look at the Family Agamidae


Nose-Horned Lizards


A small genus of agamids found in Indonesia. They are sometimes found in the herpetocultural hobby, but currently cannot be said to be popular subjects, despite their striking appearance.

Boulenger gives the following characteristics for the genus: tympanum distinct; snout ending in a long compressed cutaneous appendage; body and tail compressed, covered above with equal smooth scales of moderate size; dorsal crest present; no gular sac or transverse gular fold; no femoral or preanal pores.

Manthey and Schuster give care instructions for H. brooksi (listed there as Thaumatorhynchus brooksi).



H. beccarii, Sumatran ~

H. borneensis

H. brooksi

H. ensicauda, Nias ~

H. modigliani, Modigliani's ~

H. tricinctus, Javan ~

Species Name

Common Name





H. beccarii 

Sumatran Nose-Horned Lizard

Indonesia (Sumatra)

SVL 96 mm, TL 260 mm

Scalation details: rostral appendage double, consisting of an anterior longer and a posterior shorter part, surrounded at the base by a few scales; head with small scales, those on the snout, on the interorbital region and on the occiput polygonal, with eccentric tubercles; rostral broad and low; nostril lateral, in an elongate scale, which is separated from the rostral by a smaller one. 7-8 upper and 7 lower labials. Body compressed, covered with longitudinal series of rhomboidal smooth scales; a low dorsal crest; ventral scales strongly keeled. Tail: much compressed, covered below with two longitudinal series of long, keeled scales. Other: tympanum half the diameter of the eye; limbs with keeled scales; the hind ones pressed against the body, reach the ear; first finger shortest, second longer than fifth, fourth about as long as third ; first toe shortest, second half the length of the third, which is equal to the fourth; claws sharp. Coloration: bluish-green above; on each side of the body two yellowish bands, one beginning with a spot above the ear and running obliquely along the neck and shoulder ; the other, beginning at the lores, is continued below the eye and ear as far as the neck and begins again at the base of the fore limb. Two large dark spots on the flanks. [SOURCE: de Rooij]

H. borneensis


Indonesia (Borneo, Sarawak, Kalimantan)



H. brooksi

Indonesia (Sumatra)

SVL 6 cm, TL 14 cm

Formerly considered part of the genus Thaumatorhynchus: see Reptile Database entry.

H. ensicauda

Nias Nose-Horned Lizard

Indonesia (Nias)

SVL (without rostral appendage) 60 mm, TL 120 mm

As of 2017 this species was still only known from the type specimen. Scalation details: rostral appendage shorter than the head, curved backwards, surrounded at the base by two enlarged scales. Head with rather large scales, largest on the occiput, those on the snout, the interorbital region and the upper eyelid keeled ; canthus rostralis rounded. Gular scales smooth or indistinctly keeled. Body compressed; no dorsal crest; dorsal scales smooth, rather large, arranged in transverse series; ventral scales smooth. Tail: strongly compressed, with a denticulated crest above, covered with keeled scales. Other: limbs covered with keeled scales. Coloration: brown above; upper lip, throat and breast whitish. [SOURCE: de Rooij, citing Werner].

H. modigliani

Modigliani's Nose-Horned Lizard

Indonesia (Sumatra)


Description: rostral appendix as long as the head, simple, formed by a sickle-shaped compressed scale, upward and with its basis surrounded by some rather large scales. Projecting snout. Small gular sac. Tympanum a little smaller than the eye. Scalation details: head with medium-sized irregular scales and with erratic tubercles, partly polygonal. Lower rostral with a marked rostral angle. Nostrils located in an elongated scale, separated by the rostral scale by a smaller scale. 8 upper and 7 lower labials. Nuchal crest formed by 7 scales, the 4th one being longer but lower than the back, separated by the dorsal crest by a small gap. Body compressed, with a crest extending from the nape to the tail half much lower than the nuchal one, and covered by large keeled scales in irregular series. Ventral scales heavily keeled. Keeled leg scales, with the exception of fingers. Tail: long and compressed with two rows of keeled scales. Coloration: body blue, with white spots on head sides, more evident on the right side. Fourth or fifth upper labial scales white coloured. Dark nuchal crest and head sides; a dark spot on the anterior part of the thorax. Tail with indefinite reddish patches. [SOURCE: Vinciguerra]

H. tricinctus

Javan Nose-Horned Lizard

Indonesia (Java, Borneo), Malaysia (Borneo, Sarawak)

SVL 85 mm, TL 168 mm

Scalation details: rostral appendage longer than head and formed of compressed falciform scale curved upwards and surrounded at the base by a few large scales; upper head scales small, slightly tubercular; a large prominent triangular scale on the snout ; canthus rostralis forming a serrated ridge. Gular scales tubercular. Dorsal crest a low serrated ridge. Dorsal scales smooth, equal, forming regular transverse series : ventral scales keeled. Scales on the limbs keeled. Tail: compressed, crested above, the crest a little higher than the dorsal; caudal scales keeled, the inferior spinose. Coloration: brown, with three broad transverse yellow bands on the body, the anterior narrowest on the scapular region.[SOURCE: Boulenger]


"Descrizione di una nuova especie di Harpesaurus di Sumatra", D Vinciguerra, Annali del Museo civico di storia naturale Giacomo Doria 56, 355-57, 1933.