Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Herpetology • 2009] Taxonomical and Biological study on Calotes ceylonensis | (Reptilia: Agamidae) of Sri Lanka

Painted-lip Lizard, Sri Lankan bloodsucker |
Calotes ceylonensis Müller, 1887

Calotes ceylonensis Müller, 1887 is an endemic, rare and vulnerable, arboreal agamid lizard species of Sri Lanka, which is found only at the low country dry and intermediate zones below 500 m a.s.l. This work is mainly based on examination of type specimens as well as published literature and our observations of ecological and conditions and threats on Calotes ceylonensis. The analysis of habitat data has shown that this species is widely spread within the well shading riverine-forested areas and poorly in the home gardens. The results of this survey indicate that C. ceylonensis lays about 4–12 eggs from August to October. Hatchlings come out from November to December. These lizards’ natural predators are arboreal Colubrid snakes, Hornbills and Civet cats. The current habitat destruction poses a huge threat to this species.

Keywords. Agamidae, Calotes ceylonensis, Taxonomy, Natural history, Ecology, Biology, Behaviour, Sri Lanka.

The ecological and behavioural status of C. ceylonensis has not been investigated up to now. C. ceylonensis is an endemic, rare and vulnerable species. Therefore many published literature on their ecological status will have to be done for the conservation of this species. And also captive breeding methods may be needed for ex-situ conservation of these species. A major portion of the primary forests of Sri Lanka has undergone considerable destruction during the past 150 years. As a result: most of the agamid lizards that inhabit in these primary forests nowlive in degraded or altered habitats. According to DE SILVA (1996) C. ceylonensis is distributed in primary forest where a considerable amount of destruction and alteration of the forest by human activities have taken and are still taking place. As a consequence only 5% to 25% of primary or secondary forest / scrub jungle still exist with the greater extent being anthropogenic vegetations. C. ceylonensis is sympatric with Calotes liolepis in Ritigala, Nilgala, and the eastern slope of the Knuckles region; with C. versicolor, Otocryptis nigristigma, Lyriocephalus scutatus and Sitana ponticeriana in many habitats throughout the intermediate and dry zones.

Fig. 1. Distribution map of C. ceylonensis
(Square, Holotype; Triangle, Paratype; Circle, Other).

Karunarathna, D. M. S. S., A. A. T. Amarasingheand Edi Stöckli (2009). Taxonomical and Biological study on Calotes ceylonensis Müller, 1887 (Reptilia: Agamidae) of Sri Lanka. Bonner zoologische Beiträge, 56 (4): 229-238.: http://thasunamarasinghe.weebly.com/uploads/3/5/7/1/3571192/aat_-_taxonomic_and_biological_study_on_calotes_ceylonensis.pdf