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Scientific classification

Agamas (Agamidae) are a family of lizards, containing more than 300 species in Africa, Asia, Australia and a few in Southern Europe. They are very similar to the American sister group of iguanas. Agamas are active at day. Many species are perfectly adapted to a life in hot deserts, others live in the trees of tropical rainforests.

Agamas have well-developed, strong legs. Their tail can't be shed and regenerated like in some other lizard groups. Some agama species are able to change their colours.

The hardun (Laudakia stellio, formerly Agama stellio), or sling-tailed agama is distributed in West Asia, Egypt, Cyprus and many Greek islands (e.g. Rhodes, Corfu). This lizard is quite common. Frequently it can be seen sitting on walls.

Another species is the red-headed rock agama (Agama agama), a widespread lizard in Subsaharan Africa. Its original habitat is the savanna, but today it also lives within villages and towns. These agamas form groups of ten to twenty. The "leader" is an old male, while females and young males constitute the other members of the group. The colour is dark brown at night, but after dawn the colours of the dominant male will change: the body is now light blue, head and tail brightly orange. These colours may change again dependent on the mood. For instance, if the male agamas fight, their head will become brown, and white spots appear on their body. Fights take place, when a male not belonging to the group appears. It will try to dispute the leadership of the dominant male. When fighting, agamas hiss and try to hit the head of each other with their tail. These strokes may be very violent and often result in haematomas or fractured jaws.
The females in the group are entirely brown. Often there is a highest-ranking female, that remains close to the leading male and tries to drive away other females.

Other species of interest: bearded dragon, flying lizard.

Subfamily Agaminae

Subfamily Leiolepinae