Scientific name Acanthosaura
Order Scaled reptiles
Higher classification Agamidae
|Similar Reptile, Acanthosaura capra, Acanthosaura lepidogaster, Agamidae, Acanthosaura armata|
Acanthosaura is a genus of lizards commonly known as mountain horned dragons, or pricklenape agamas. They are so named because of a row of dorsal spines which runs down the back of their necks. They are arboreal lizards found in Southeast Asia. They are medium-sized, ranging from about 7.5 to 15 inches in length, depending on species and individual. They tend to prefer higher elevation areas with dense vegetation.
Mountain horned dragons are insectivorous, consuming only live food. Common foods in captivity include crickets, earthworms, silkworms, mealworms, moths, roaches, wax worms, and grasshoppers. They require a variety in diet and will often refuse food when offered in excessive redundancy.
Typical Acanthosaura feeding behavior is a sit-and-wait style. They will perch 1 to 2 m off the ground until they spot their prey, which is often down on the ground. A display of aerobatics is not uncommon from Acanthosaura species when hunting food. They will eat and hunt fish, but most will not submerge their heads to catch a meal.
Females lay their first clutch of eggs about four months after mating. They may lay up to four clutches total per year, separated by a month or two.
Mountain horned dragons are popular pets, and readily available in the exotic pet trade. A. capra is considered the hardiest and most easily kept species of the genus, and is the most common species found for sale in the United States. While not considered to be difficult to breed in captivity, most specimens available are wild caught. However due to captive breeding, more and more captive bred lizards are available