Harman Patil (Editor)


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Kingdom  Animalia
Family  Agamidae
Scientific name  Acanthosaura
Phylum  Chordata
Order  Scaled reptiles
Suborder  Iguania
Subfamily  Draconinae
Higher classification  Agamidae
Rank  Genus
Acanthosaura FreshMarinecom Mountain Horned Lizard Acanthosaura capra Buy
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.


Acanthosaura CalPhotos Acanthosaura nataliae


Acanthosaura wwwreptariumczcontentphotord05Acanthosaura

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.

Acanthosaura Acanthosaura crucigera photo Reptarium

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.

In captivity

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


  • Acanthosaura armata (Gray, 1827) – armored pricklenape – China, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Acanthosaura bintangensis Wood, J. Grismer, L. Grismer, Ahmad, Onn & Bauer, 2009 – Perak, Peninsular Malaysia
  • Acanthosaura brachypoda Ananjeva, Orlov, Nguyen, & Ryabov, 2011 – Vietnam
  • Acanthosaura capra (Günther, 1861) – green pricklenape – Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
  • Acanthosaura cardamomensis Wood, J. Grismer, L. Grismer, Neang, Chav & Holden, 2010 – eastern Thailand and western Cambodia
  • Acanthosaura coronata Günther, 1861 – Vietnam
  • Acanthosaura crucigera (Boulenger, 1885) – Boulenger's pricklenape – Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia
  • Acanthosaura lepidogaster (Cuvier, 1829) – brown pricklenape – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and China
  • Acanthosaura nataliae Orlov, Truong & Sang, 2006 – Vietnam
  • Acanthosaura phuketensis Pauwels, Sumontha, Kunya, Nitikul, Samphanthamit, Wood & L. Grismer, 2015 – southwestern Thailand
  • Acanthosaura titiwangsaensis Wood, J. Grismer, L. Grismer, Ahmad, Onn & Bauer, 2009 – Fraser's Hill and Cameron Highlands, Pahang, and Peninsular Malaysia
  • References

    Acanthosaura Wikipedia