Lizards at Trinidad's Asa Wright Nature Centre

collared tree lizard (Tropidurus plica) on wall

Surprisingly, I only saw two lizards while I was in Trinidad, and they were both at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, so they can't really be described as totally wild.

Nor totally polite...


How wude!   Still, you've got to admit this collarded tree lizard is pretty spectacular...

collared tree lizard on wall poking out tongue was the other lizard, which was a Tegu lizard.   I was told that the word "tegu" is Latin for tiger, which seems appropriate, but I've since read that "tegu" is actually a South American Indian name for this lizard, and indeed I haven't been able to track down any Latin word "tegu".   There are several types of tegu lizard, I think this might be a Gold Tegu (which used to be called Tupinambis nigropunctatus but is now called Tupinambis teguixin).   As you can see, it's got pretty good claws, especially on the hind feet.

tegu lizard


There's a family of tegu lizards living at Asa Wright, attracted by the food which falls from the bird feeding tables.

Because they see so many people around the place, they're not shy..

tegu lizard running


...which might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on whether you're nervous about confronting a large lizard which has sharp claws and teeth and can move quickly!

I've read that Gold Tegus are the most aggressive and ornery of the tegus.