Added 12 January 2005. Last updated 21 July 2022: updated Introduction, all species entries and Bibliography.

A look at the Family Agamidae


Hubrecht's Eyebrow Lizard


This monotypic genus formerly contained five species, of which four were recently (2019) reassigned to the genus Pelturagonia.

Boulenger (apparently citing from Hubrecht) gives the characteristics of the genus as follows: tympanum hidden; no femoral pores; back and sides covered with small smooth scales, intermixed with larger keeled ones, and with very large multicarinate conical tubercles. No dorsal crest. A row of longer crest-scales above the eye. Upper surface of head covered with conical tubercles.

I have not seen this species offered in the UK, and the name does not seem to crop up in herpetological circles in Germany or the US either. Manthey and Schuster cover the genus and P. nigrilabris (now Pelturagonia nigrilabris) in their book and note that they are not particularly difficult captives, not least because they are small as agamids go - P. nigrilabris is no more than 9cm in total length. They would appear to be at least somewhat arboreal.

Hubrecht in 1881 summarised the differences between Phoxophrys and Japalura as follows (taken from Inger 1960):



Lacks dorsal crest

Dorsal crest present

Few large tubercular scales laterally

Enlarged scales are simply unicarinate

Supraciliaries juxtaposed or very slightly imbricate

Each supraciliary overlaps its successor by at least one third

Head relatively short and deep

Head relatively long and flat

Lacks hair-like sense organs on cephalic scales

Hair-like sense organs present on cephalic scales

Rostral if distinguishable is at most twice as wide as high and only occupies centre of end of snout

Rostral 3-4 times as wide as high and occupies entire end of snout

Tail of male is markedly swollen basally, flattened above and furnished with dorsolateral keels formed by enlarged angular scales

Tail of male is compressed, oval in cross section and not flattened above; usually a low middorsal caudal crest is formed by median row of enlarged keeled scales (only J. flaviceps deviates from this rule)

Species Name

Common Name





P. tuberculata

Hubrecht's Eyebrow Lizard 

Indonesia (W Sumatra)


Scalation details: nasal contacts 1st and 2nd supralabials; 2 continuous rows of infraorbitals; supraciliary scales raised into crest; several strongly compressed supraoculars; gular scales sharply keeled, mucronate; nuchal crest absent; vertebral scale row posteriorly lacks continuous series of enlarged scales; lateral caudal scales keeled; 4 rows of keeled subcaudals near base. Reproduction: no details available.


Gives brief overview of Phoxophrys and details of P. nigrilabris.

Phoxophrys After 60 Years: Review of Morphology, Phylogeny, Status of Pelturagonia, and a New Species from Southeastern Kalimantan”, Michael B. Harvey, Thorton R. Larson, Justin L. Jacobs, Kyle Shaney, Jeffrey W. Streicher, Amir Hamidy, Nia Kurniawan, Eric N. Smith, Herpetological Monographs 33(1), 71-107, 13 March 2020.)


A Guide to the Lizards of Borneo, by Dr Indraneil Das and Ghazally Ismail, has some information on P. borneensis and P. nigrilabris and some images.