You are here » home advanced search search results Sceloporus malachiticus

Sceloporus malachiticus COPE, 1864

IUCN Red List - Sceloporus malachiticus - Least Concern, LC

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Sceloporus malachiticus?

Add your own observation of
Sceloporus malachiticus »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaPhrynosomatidae, Sceloporinae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Green Spiny Lizard
G: Stachelleguan 
SynonymSceloporus malachiticus COPE 1864
Sceloporus irazuensis GÜNTHER 1890 (part. fide SMITH 1939)
Sceloporus formosus malachiticus — SMITH 1939: 46
Sceloporus formosus malachiticus — SLEVIN 1942: 466
Sceloporus malachiticus malachiticus — MERTENS 1952: 48
Sceloporus malachiticus — SCHMIDT et al. 1999
Sceloporus malachiticus — KÖHLER 2000: 85
Sceloporus malachiticus — WIENS et a. 2010
Sceloporus malachiticus — CURLIS et al. 2020 
DistributionGuatemala (El Peten), El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama; Antigua; elevation: 830-1780 m

Type locality: “Arriba” (= uplands), Costa Rica.  
TypesSyntypes: USNM 101062(5), formerly 12186, earlier 6492, collected by C. H. Riotte.
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.8.10.10-14 (formerly 1885.10.20.2-5), Irazú, Costa Rica, collected by F. D. Godman and O. Salvin. Also 1946.8.10.3-4 (formerly 1889.11.13.114-115), collected in "S. Mexico" by F. D. Godman [irazuensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Sceloporus of moderate size, maximum snout-vent measurement 91mm.; a black shoulder spot present, lacking a narrow dorsal extension; dorsal scales 30 to 39, average 35; scales around body 30 to 45, average 37.9; ventral scales 36 to 46, average 42.2; femoral pores 11 to 17, average 14.3; frontal usually separated from interparietal; supraoculars in two irregular series; one or more supraoculars very frequently in contact with median head scales; one canthal or, if two, the first usually forced above canthal ridge; males usually with a light line down the center of each dorsal scale row (Smith 1939: 46).

Color. General ground color in males malachite blue, olive green or olive brown; each dorsal scale row with a broad median lighter streak; these lighter lines separated from each other by narrow dark lines occupying the edges of two adjacent scale rows; limbs apparently with faint, darker bands; toes and fingers barred rather distinctly; tail with faint alternating dark and light bars. Throat bluish, becoming darker posteriorly; gular fold region black, this color extending onto shoulder, but not onto back; sides of belly blue, with a dark blue or black median border, the two separated by four or five scale rows, this border not extending onto chest or into groin; chest, a band down middle of belly, and ventral surfaces of limbs and tail, immaculate, suffused with light blue (in some specimens, chest rather heavily suffused with black). Females tend to be darker-colored above; both young and old females usually show four or six rows of large, rather sharply outlined, brown-black spots on the back, of which the two median continue onto the tail (Wettstein, 1934); the nuchal collar is fairly distinct, and complete in the young; throat and sides of belly bluish (apparently; in preservative these areas appear dark); remainder of belly dusky white. The rows of dorsal spots are sometimes variously modified; in some, one or more rows have the individual spots fused to form indistinct irregular stripes; the sides of the abdomen frequently have irregular indistinct darker and lighter areas. Wettstein (1934), who had access to Zimara's field notes, states that this subspecies never has the throat colored orange-red, but alwaysbluish. In the preserved material personally examined, this statement appears to be true (Smith 1939: 48). 
CommentDistribution: Not listed for Belize and Mexico by KÖHLER (2000). Not in Honduras fide McCranie 2015 (checklist Honduras). Not in Yucatan state (Mexico) according to GONZÁLEZ-SÁNCHEZ et al. 2017.

Group: S. formosus group (sensu lato, fide PÉREZ-RAMOS & SALDAÑA DE LA RIVA 2008) 
EtymologyThe Latin malus or melinos, "apple," or apple-green," and the Greek chiton, "tunic," and -icus, "pertaining to," are the roots of this word, and undoubtedly refer to the greenish "tunic" of adult males. 
  • Acosta-Chaves, Víctor J.; Gerardo Chaves, Juan G. Abarca, Adrián García-Rodríguez, Federico Bolaños 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Río Macho Biological Station, Provincia de Cartago, Costa Rica. Check List 11 (6): 1784 - get paper here
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Brongersma, L. D. 1954. On some lizards from the Republic of El Salvador. Konikl. Nederl. Akad. van Wetenschappen (Amsterdam) 57 (2): 165-174
  • Cope, E.D. 1864. Contributions to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 16: 166-181. - get paper here
  • Curlis JD, Fisher EC, Muhic WK, Moy J, Garro-Cruz M, Montero-Ramírez JJ 2020. A survey of the reptiles and amphibians at the University of Georgia Costa Rica field station in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Check List 16(6): 1433-1456 - get paper here
  • Duellman, William E. 1966. The Central American herpetofauna: An ecological perspective. Copeia 1966 (4): 700-719 - get paper here
  • Fitch, H. S. 1978. Sexual size differences in the genus Sceloporus. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 51 (13): 441-461 - get paper here
  • Fitch, Henry S. 1973. Population structure and survivorship in some Costa Rican lizards. Occ. Pap. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas 18: 1-41 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Gutsche, A. 2012. Bewohner des Elfenwaldes: Herpetofauna am Pico La Picucha im Nationalpark Sierra de Agalta, Honduras. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (5): 68-71 - get paper here
  • Henderson, C.L. 2010. Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles of Costa Rica - A field guide. University of Texas Press, Austin, 198 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Köhler, G. & Heimes, P. 2002. Stachelleguane. Herpeton-Verlag (Offenbach), 174 pp.
  • Köhler, Gunther, Fabian Schmidt, Roxane Schröter and Rahel Siemer. 1999. Untersuchungen zur Variation mehrerer Reptilienarten aus El Salvador unter Berücksichtigung der Verwendbarkeit von Pholidosemerkmalen zur individuellen Wiedererkennung. Salamandra 35 (4): 227-242 - get paper here
  • Leaché, A.D. 2010. Species trees for spiny lizards (Genus Sceloporus): Identifying points of concordance and conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54: 162–171 - get paper here
  • Leaché, A.D. & J.W.Sites, Jr. 2009. Chromosome Evolution and Diversification in North American Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus). Cytogenet Genome Res 127: 166-181 - get paper here
  • Lisachov, A. P., Tishakova, K. V., Romanenko, S. A., Molodtseva, A. S., Prokopov, D. Y., Pereira, J. C., ... & Trifonov, V. A. 2021. Whole-chromosome fusions in the karyotype evolution of Sceloporus (Iguania, Reptilia) are more frequent in sex chromosomes than autosomes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1833), 20200099 - get paper here
  • Marion, K.R. & O.J. Sexton 1971. The Reproductive Cycle of the Lizard Sceloporus malachiticus in Costa Rica Copeia 1971 (3): 517-526. - get paper here
  • McCranie, J. & Castañeda, F.E. 2005. The herpetofauna of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, Honduras. Phyllomedusa 4 (1): 3-16 - get paper here
  • Meister, D. 2010. Haltung und Zucht von Sceloporus malachiticus. Iguana Rundschreiben 23 (1): 10-17
  • Mertens, R. 1952. Die Amphibien und Reptilien von El Salvador. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) (No. 487): 120 pp.
  • Pachmann, A. 2012. IN 5 JAHREN UM DIE WELT: Meine zweite herpetologische Exkursion: Lateinamerika. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (93): 16-17 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Ramos, E. & Saldaña de La Riva, L. 2008. Morphological revision of lizards of the formosus group, genus Sceloporus (Squamata: Sauria) of southern Mexico, with description of a new species. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 44 (3): 77-98 - get paper here
  • Reznick, D. & O. Sexton 1986. Annual Variation of Fecundity in Sceloporus malachiticus Journal of Herpetology 20 (3): 457-459. - get paper here
  • Reznick, D., O.J. Sexton & C. Mantis 1981. Initial Prey Preferences in the Lizard Sceloporus malachiticus Copeia 1981 (3): 681-686. - get paper here
  • Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, 934 pp. [review in Copeia 2003 (1): 205]
  • Schmidt, Fabian, Gunther Köhler and Jörg Kreutz. 1999. Morphologie, Verbreitung und Fortpflanzung der Stachelschuppenleguane in El Salvador: 2. Sceloporus malachiticus Cope, 1864. Salamandra 35 (4): 279-288 - get paper here
  • Slevin, J.R. 1942. Notes on a collection of reptiles from Boquete, Panama, with the description of a new species of Hydromorphus. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 23: 463-480 - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M. 1939. The Mexican and Central American lizards of the genus Sceloporus. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 26: 1-397. - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M., & BUMZAHEM, C. B. 1955. The identity of the trans-isthmic populations of the malachite tree-lizard (Sceloporus malachiticus Cope). Herpetologica 11: 118-20. - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - get paper here
  • Swierk, L; 2019. Sceloporus malachiticus (Emerald Swift) Coloration. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 145 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E. H. 1956. A review of the lizards of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 38 (part 1): 3-322 - get paper here
  • Townsend, J. H., L. D. Wilson, M. Medina-Flores, E. Aguilar-Urbina, B. K. Atkinson et al. 2012. A premontane hotspot for herpetological endemism on the windward side of Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, Honduras. Salamandra 48 (2): 92-114 - get paper here
  • Vences M., Franzen M., Flaschendräger A., Schmitt R. & Regös J. 1998. Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna von Nicaragua: kommentierte Artenliste der Reptilien. Salamandra 34 (1): 17-42 - get paper here
  • Wiens, John J.; Caitlin A. Kuczynski, Saad Arif & Tod W. Reeder 2010. PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS OF PHRYNOSOMATID LIZARDS BASED ON NUCLEAR AND MITOCHONDRIAL DATA, AND A REVISED PHYLOGENY FOR SCELOPORUS. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54: 150-161 - get paper here
  • Wirth, Michael 2011. Lohnende Reiseziele für Amphibien- und Reptilienfreunde in Costa Rica. Draco 12 (45): 22-39 - get paper here
  • Zawadski, M. 2004. Malachit Stachelleguane, Sceloporus malachiticus. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 64 pp. - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator