Order Squamata - Family Teiidae
© Gustavo F. Brahamian © Carlos González Ledo The Blakc-and-white Tegu Lizard is diurnal and terrestrial. Though it is a good swimmer too. It is mostly seen basking in hot weather © Carlos González Ledo
© Jorge García Vicente With Red Tegu Lizard
© José Alberto Lell © Carlos González Ledo Moulting the skin
Black-and-white Tegu Salvator merianae 11-2-17 © Elsa y Guillermo 11-2-17 © Elsa y Guillermo Tegus can lose their tail spontaneously as a defense mechanism to save their lives. Thsi capacity is known as autotomy. Lizards have areas between the vertebrae with weaknesses and speciiic muscular adaptations which let the tail come off without losing fluids. The tail regrows, but not as it was. The new tail is a cartilaginous appendix without scales and vertebrae. It may ocurr a fork like the one in the photo.
Black-and-white-Tegu Lizard Salvator merianae
© J. Simón Tagtachian Lizards and snakes have evolved a very particular form of smelling scents. They use their tongue. As the tongue is taken out of the mouth it gets loaded with odour particles. To process them it is neccessary for them to take them to the Jacobson's organ which is on the top of the roof of the mouth. So in goes the tongue. Once the receptors of this organ get in touch with molecules they send the information to the brain. This refined way of smelling the environment serves other purposes as well, identify prey, choose mates, recognize kin, etc. That's way the regular movement of the tongue in and out of the mouth. Here the lizard was in the small garden at the Viamonte cabin where lots of Pindo palm fruits Syagrus romanzoffiana were scattered on the grass. Licking the air it chooses which to eat.
VIDEO © Amelia Besana VIDEO © Amelia Besana VIDEO © Amelia Besana
These three videos show the previous moments to and the mating. Some interesting displays could be associated with courtship. To cover the female with the body. To march without moving. The female moving in a circle before mating.
To mate the male holds the female by the neck and positions her to penetrate her vent with his hemipenes. These are not external organs. They are everted for defecation and copulation and then they retract into the base of the tail.
© Eduardo Carreyra © Eduardo Carreyra © Miguel Ángel Lucero © RAP Juvenile © Eduardo Cusano Juvenile
It is omnivorous. It feeds on arthropods, insects, small vertebrates, reptiles, bird and turtle eggs and some vegetal material too.
© Alberto Gurni
© Federico Schulz
© Eduardo Carreyra
© Rodolfo Pani
© Sergio Cusano
© RAP © RAP © RAP VIDEO© RAP Ricardo tells us that the tegu caught the snake which defended itself by biting the tegu. Its mouth is wide open and threatening. The tegu managed to control it. Since it could not cut it, it swallowed it whole. In the last photo the last bit is being pushed inside by the tongue.
The Tegu of the wall This tegu passes through a hole in the wire fence and walks along the wall. There is a food stand right there with tables arranged next to the wall. When one sits at the table the upper part of the wall is level with people's shoulders. On more than one occasion people got an awful fright when the tegu appeared from behind. It is harmless but if you do not know....
© Ignacio Agudelo © Sergio Cusano © Sergio Cusano
Hot days are coming and lizards are more frequently seen. Amira and Abel tell us: "It was approximately 0.80 to 0.90 m long. We sat on a bench facing the sea in front of the electric power plant. In fact we were only 3 m away from the lizard during approximately 20 minutes till we left. The lizard moved into and out of the brushes. It seemed not to be afraid of us and we indulged ourselves taking pictures of it © Amira Hesain