Sometimes known by the common name of Emerald Swift Lizard, the Spiny Green Lizard enjoys soaking up the sun rays in a few different kinds of ecosystems.
Emerald Swifts are found from the Yucatan in Mexico to Panama. They inhabit coffee plantations, pasture lands, premontane forest, montane forest and subalpine forests. They can be spotted at national parks in Costa Rica such as Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Amistad International Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Juan Castro Blanco National Park and Chirripó National Park.
Mating & Reproduction
Unlike most lizards that lay eggs, the Spiny Green Lizard is ovoviparous. This means that the females incubate their eggs in side of their bodies and give birth to 6 to 15 live young. Females generally produce only one brood in a year. Mating season is thought to begin in June when males are at the peak of their virility.
Emerald Swift Lizards subsist mainly on insects. They spend much of their time basking in the sun in order to regulate their body temperature for the night. This diurnal lizards spreads out on rock faces, but it will abandon its post if it senses a threat. The Spiny Green Lizard is often preyed upon by large felids, birds, tayras, olingos and coatis to name a few.
The lizards color changes throughout the day as it absorbs sunlight. Their colors may vary from yellow green, blue green and bright green to a dark slate color when they take on a lot of sun. Although absorbing the sunlight in great quantities contributes to a darker color at first, by the end of the day they tend to become their trademark bright green color.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Amistad International Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Chirripó National Park
Diet: insects (especially crickets)
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: premontane and montane forests, subalpine forests, coffee plantations, pasturelands
Size: length=15-20 cm weight=undefined
Species: Sceloporus malachiticus