Orange Spotted Agama
Scientific Name: Laudakia stellio picea
The Black Agama is an average sized Agama. They can reach 30 centimeters (one foot) in length at maturity. Contrary to its name, the Black Agama is actually not entirely black. This striking melanistic lizard has beautiful orange markings, hence their other common name, the "Orange Spotted Agama". The "spotting" of the Black Agama often appears as horizontal stripes across their backs and tails. Their legs will either have orange spots or spots that have fused to form bands. They have powerful legs, which are quite suited for climbing. Their legs are also quite distinctive due to the presence of beautiful scaling. Each of their fingers possesses long, sharp claws. Their tails are often described as spiny. The Black Agama may best be best separated from some other agamas by its triangularly shaped head and distinctive neck.
Female Black Agamas lay a clutch of eggs in June. Clutch sizes will usually range from six to eight eggs. These eggs will incubate for several months and hatch sometime between August and September.
Found in the Middle East and seems to be most common in Jordan, though they have also been reported in Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
The Black Agama is a striking desert lizard that is not uncommon in the pet trade.
The Black Agama is one of several subspecies of Laudakia stellio and is perhaps the most beautiful. There is some debate as to the exact number of subspecies that exist, however, most of the research indicates there are five accepted subspecies. All of the subspecies seem to prefer sandy habitats. In the wild they are commonly seen in the lava desert. They are generally timid, and will run for cover when they are startled. Males, however, can be territorial; and when they are in a defensive posture, they will chase opponents while shaking their heads. The Black Agama is diurnal and commonly makes its home on rocks and in crevices. In captivity, the Black Agama is reported to become accostomed to handling fairly easily, and they are generally not as aggressive as some other types of agama.
There seems to be some debate as to where the Black Agama makes its home. Some of the debate may be due to the confusion over the number of subspecies of Laudakia stellio. Most of the research suggests this subspecies is found in the Middle East and seems to be most common in Jordan, though they have also been reported in Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Since its identification, there seems to have been some debate over the correct naming of its genus. They were originally classified as Agama stellio, though today they are more commonly seen as Laudakia stellio.
The Black Agama is an insectivore that commonly feeds on insects such as beetles, crickets, and spiders in the wild. In captivity they should also be given a diet of insects. In general they are reported to prefer large insects and flying ants, though the