The Native Reptiles Of Chile

The ironically named Dwarf Tegu is the largest lizard in Chile, and endemic to the country.
The ironically named Dwarf Tegu is the largest lizard in Chile, and endemic to the country.

Chile is a South American country bordering Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, as well as the Pacific Ocean to the west. Santiago is the capital and also the largest city in the country. The layout of the country is a relatively thin strip divided into fifteen administrative regions. Due to the shape of Chile, it is crossed by many rivers which are very short. The national language is Spanish as the country is a former colony of Spain although the language is heavily accented. Most animals found in the country are endemic due to its particular geography. The country is over 2,610 miles long from north to south, and this results in a wide range of climates and environments. Some native reptiles in Chile include the Agueda’s rocky lizard, Atacama Lava lizard, Chilean long-tailed snake, Coquimbo marked gecko, Dwarf Tegu, Fabians Lizard, Nunez lizard, and slag lizard

Chilean Long-Tailed Snake

The Chilean Long-Tailed Snake's scientific name is Philodryas Chamissonis, and it is moderately venomous with rear fangs. It is gray with black and white longitudinal stripes on the body. The snake has nineteen horizontal rows of dorsal scales in the middle body. These snakes are relatively long measuring up to five feet with the tail alone comprising around 25% of the total body length. The mode of reproduction is oviparity and mainly feeds on rodents, insects, and other small reptiles. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies it as data deficient, though the Chilean government has placed it on its own list of classified animals. The human contacts with the snake are limited, and hence cases of bites are uncommon. The bites are painful and cause severe swelling.

Coquimbo Marked Gecko

This reptile is a low altitude species, occurring only in elevations below 3,000 feet above sea level. These geckos are mostly to be found along the coast of the Coquimbo Region, and also in the Chilean deserts and shrublands to a lesser degree. It reproduces via viprous reproduction and is endemic to the nation, being found only in Chile. The scientific name is Homonata Penai. This species of geckos are very friendly and beautiful and have been widely domesticated in most parts of America. Incubation temperatures influence the sex of the gecko.

Atacama Lava Lizard

They exhibit no phobias towards humans and will often readily interact with them. They are quite long attaining up to six inches in length with the male being bigger and more brightly colored. The throat of the male is black and yellow while that of females is red. There are more than seven species of lava lizards in Chile with all coming in different shades of gray. An interesting aspect of these lizards is their ability to change their color in case of a threat or change in temperature. They mainly fee on invertebrates and plants and also sometimes they practice cannibalism. The breeding season takes place mostly in warm seasons, and the males go on a raised spot where they wave their heads up and down to mark territories. The females make deep soil excavations where they typically lay six eggs, and these generally take twelve weeks to hatch. They are cold blooded and mainly depend on the sun for body heat.

Dwarf Tegu

It is the largest lizard in Chile, and it is endemic to the country. In Chile, it is commonly referred to as spotted false monitor, and its scientific name is Callopistes Maculates. It reaches up to twenty inches in length. It is a diurnal species, preying mostly on insects and sometimes lizards, snakes, small birds, and mammals. It is mostly found in the Chilean matorral ecological region.

The Native Reptiles Of Chile

Native Reptiles of Chile Scientific Name
Agueda's Rocky Lizard Phymaturus aguedae
Atacama Lava Lizard Microlophus atacamensis
Chilean Long-tailed Snake Philodryas chamissonis
Coquimbo Marked Gecko Homonota penai
Dwarf Tegu Callopistes maculatus
Fabian's Lizard Liolaemus fabiani
Nuñez Lizard Liolaemus curis
Slag Lizard Liolaemus scorialis
Tarapaca Pacific Iguana Microlophus tarapacensis
Volcano Grumbler Pristidactylus volcanensis

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