8 Common LIZARDS found in Gabon! (ID GUIDE)

 

Do you want to learn about the different kinds of lizards in Gabon?

Types of lizards in Gabon

If so, you’ve come to the right place! In the article below, I have listed the lizards you can expect to see. For each species, you’ll find out how to identify that lizard correctly, along with pictures and interesting facts!

8 Lizards That Live IN Gabon:


#1. Tropical House Gecko

  • Hemidactylus mabouia

Types of lizards in Gabon

How to identify:

  • Length: 5 inches (12.7 cm).
  • Lifespan: Between 3 and 5 years.
  • Blackish-brown bands that can change color from grey to white and even dark brown.

The Tropical House Gecko is native to sub-Saharan Africa and prefers scrubby and sandy areas near the beach. But this small lizard feels at home in suburban areas in Gabon, where it is often found in homes. These geckos mainly feed on spiders, cockroaches, scorpions, moths, anoles, grasshoppers, and even other geckos.

Due to their adaptability, Tropical House Geckos are now found worldwide after being introduced by humans.


#2. Nile Monitor

  • Varanus niloticus

Types of lizards in Gabon

How to identify:

  • Length: Between 47 – 86 inches (119 to 218 cm).
  • Lifespan: Between 10 and 20 Years.
  • Nile Monitors have prominent skin patterns; both males and females are grey/brown on top and have green/yellow barring on their tails. Both sexes have large, greenish-yellow spots on their backs, and their underside and throats are creamy-yellow.

Nile Monitors are one of the largest and most spectacular lizards to observe in Gabon.

Look for them roaming near a permanent water source near woodlands, scrubs, evergreen thickets, mangroves, and swamps. Nile Monitors feed on frogs, toads, rodents, small turtles, birds, eggs, insects, and fish.

Luckily, the Nile Monitor is a lizard, not a human; otherwise, society would frown upon its polygamous behavior. Both males and females mate with several other partners.

After mating, the female takes a break from the males and makes a suitable nest in termite borrows or digs a hole near water where she lays up to 60 eggs. The female is patient during the incubation process, which lasts six to nine months. The baby monitors dig their way to freedom, or the female digs them out, and after three to four years, they are ready to mate themselves.


#3. Rainbow Agama

  • Agama agama

Types of lizards in Gabon

How to identify:

  • Length: Between 5.1 and 11.8 inches (13 to 30 cm).
  • Lifespan: 25 years.
  • The Rainbow Agama is white underneath, and its back limbs are brown with a light stripe running down the middle of its tail. Males have a yellow tail and head with a blue body.

Rainbow Agamas love hot and dry areas in Gabon!

In fact, they stay active all day except when the temperature skyrockets to over 100°F (38ºC) in the shade. They mainly feed on insects like ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and termites, but they won’t say no to a small mammal, flower, or fruit.

Like chameleons, the Rainbow Agama uses its tongue to catch its prey. The tip of the Agama’s tongue has sticky mucous glands, enabling it to feed on ants and small insects.

The female produces thermoregulated embryos, meaning that the embryos are able to maintain a normal internal temperature. However, during incubation, higher environmental temperatures result in the development of males, and lower temperatures result in the development of females.After hatching, the youngsters are independent and must fend for themselves until they reach maturity after 14-18 months.


#4. Speckle-lipped Mabuya

  • Trachylepis maculilabris

Types of lizards in Gabon

How to identify:

  • They have a brown back and a thin yellow rim surrounding their ear opening.
  • Both sexes look similar.

The Speckle-lipped Mabuya, often called the Speckle-lipped Skink, is diurnal, meaning it is mostly active during the day. These lizards enjoy hot areas in Gabon and often bask on a rock or log under the intense sun.

The Speckle-lipped Mabuya prefer areas that are well protected from the elements and are often seen in buildings like houses, garages, and floor apartments. In nature, they find safety in thick foliage but often climb rocks to sun themselves or find a female or food.


#5. Peters’s Rock Agama

  • Agama picticauda

peters rock agama

How to identify:

  • Length: About 12 inches (31 cm).
  • They have tan limbs with a light underside. It has a stripe running through the middle of its tail with six to seven dark spots on the side.
  • Males are larger than females.
  • Dominant males have a yellow head and tail with a blue body. Subordinate females and males are distinguishable by their olive-green heads.

Peters’s Rock Agama prefers areas in Gabon with a lot of vegetation. They are semi-arboreal terrestrial, meaning they spend half of the day on the ground and the other half in trees, making the humid savanna forest their favorite habitat. But stay on alert because they are also often seen in urban areas.

Peters’s Rock Agamas are opportunistic hunters that spend most of the day in tree branches waiting for prey. When a spider, cricket, grasshopper, or ant passes close to the lizard, it quickly strikes to devour its meal.


#6. Senegal Mabuya

  • Trachylepis affinis

By Jarne Colman – Own work, CC0

How to identify:

  • They are brown with a white belly, four rows of black spots, and a pale stripe that stretches from its upper lip to its groin.
  • Both sexes look similar, but adult males are smaller than adult females.

The Senegal Mabuya is a small brown lizard inhabiting forests and woodlands in Gabon. They spend most of the day on the ground and rarely climb trees or rocks. Where other lizards seek out a rock to bask in the sun, the Senegal Mabuya will lie on top of leaves, where it can quickly hide if a predator approaches.

Senegal Mabuyas are insectivores that mainly feed on small earthworms, spiders, and other insects. These small brown lizards breed in spring or early summer. Interestingly, after mating, the female lets the eggs develop inside her for a long period before she lays them.


#7. Flap-necked Chameleon

  • Chamaeleo dilepis

flap necked chamelon

How to identify:

  • Males and females have a coloring that ranges from brown to yellow to green. Both sexes have between 1 and 3 light patches on their upper flanks and a light stripe on their lower sides.
  • It is identified by its broad tail that starts at the base and a spur that grows behind each hind foot.

The Flap-necked Chameleon is a large lizard belonging to the Chamaeleonidae family, a common sight in Gabon. These unique lizards prefer moist or arid savannah, coastal forests, bushy grass, and woodlands, but it is known to venture into suburban and rural areas. They feed on various insects and invertebrates, like beetles and grasshoppers.

When it is time for breeding, the Flap-necked Chameleon male is no stranger to showing off his strength and masculinity by fighting other males to secure a suitable female. Winning the fight does not necessarily persuade the female, but it at least allows the male to approach her.

If the male is accepted, courtship with the female is brief and only lasts a few minutes. Mating lasts about an hour and is done in the trees’ safety.


#8. Crested Chameleon

  • Trioceros cristatus

crested chameleon

How to identify:

  • Males are chestnut brown with blue spots on their helmets, while females are larger and usually bright green. However, individuals can range between many different colors.

The Crested Chameleon is a beautiful lizard in Gabon, especially the male with his blue spotted head. These chameleons prefer humid areas like forests with thick leaves, where they mostly hide in the trees.

Crested Chameleons feed on insects, locusts, larvae, and grasshoppers, but this steady hunter will even occasionally catch small frogs.

At the end of July and the beginning of September, just as the wet season ceases and the dry season starts, the male gets all his colors and finds suitable females to mate with. The male establishes his territory by chasing all other males away. The male mates with various females in his territory and defends it fiercely from other males.


Do you want to learn MORE about animals in Gabon?

Check out these ID Guides!


Which of these lizards in Gabon is your favorite?

Leave a comment below!

 

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