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Ameiva festiva, also called the Central American Whiptail, is a medium-sized ground-dwelling lizard found most commonly in humid and moist lowland forests in Central America. Adults of both sexes may reach 129 mm in snout-vent length or 345 mm in total length, although males are generally slightly larger than females. While there is substantial variability in coloration within and between Ameiva species, A. festiva can usually be distinguished from other mainland Ameiva species by its light vertebral stripe and the multiple light dashed or dotted stripes on its otherwise dark flanks. The belly is grayish white in juveniles, and may become pale bronze in adult females or blue in adult males. The distinctive blue tail present in juveniles often fades to brown in older individuals. Ameiva festiva is active primarily in the morning and early afternoon on warm, sunny days, where it forages aggressively for the small arthropods that make up the bulk of its diet. This species reproduces year-round, and female A. festiva commonly lay up to four clutches per year. However, reproduction in this species is concentrated during the rainy season.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Rachelle Ludwick and Lee Dietterich

Source: The Harvard University Herpetology Course - OEB 167


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