CLASSIFICATION OF CALOTES : GARDEN LIZARD
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)
Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).
Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).
Order :- SQUAMATA ( Lizards and snakes with horny epidermal scales or shields. Quadrate bone movable. Vertebrae procoelous. Anal opening transverse).
Sub-order :- SAURIA ( Lizards. Body slender, limbs 4. Pterygoid in contact with quadrate. Eyelids
Family :- AGAMIDAE ( limbs normal. Teeth differentiated ).
Genus :- Calotes
Calotes are native to South Asia, southern China, mainland Southeast Asia and Ambon. Additionally, C. versicolor has been introduced to Florida (USA), Borneo, Sulawesi, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Oman.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Calotes is adapted for arboreal life and slight disturbance or any noise causes the lizard to run away swiftly. It feeds on small insects.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF CALOTES : GARDEN LIZARD
- Commonly known as blood sucker because of the red colour of neck. Its common name in Hindi is girgitan or girgit.
- Body is elongated, slender, 30 cm in length, covered with tough scales, and divided into head, short neck, trunk and tail.
- Animal contains a crest of spines in mid-dorsal line. Spines also present on under surface of head and neck.
- Head contains, mouth, eyes, nostrils and small opening for external ear.
- Tongue short.
- Teeth usually differentiated (heterodont) and attached to the edges of jaws (acrodont).
- Forelimbs and hind limbs normal. Tail elongated and does not break.
Calotes is also famous for colour changes. The original colour is olive green but during courtship, colour changes to yellow and head becomes red. The colour changes are largely governed by temperature and environment and also by honnones from pituitary. The colour pigments are present in skin. During breeding season, male acquires brilliant colours and a gular pouch also develops in neck. The male changes colour during courtship and fights for female. Viviparous.
The animal contains back spines, long pointed tail and above features, hence it is Calotes or Garden lizard.