Updated: Jun 17, 2020
As ceases the scorching heat slowly and gracefully after the last week of April, the scrublands, grasslands and the hilltops of Pune become dating hot-spots for the Fan- Throated Lizards. This lasts for the next two and a half months at most.
This here is a Darwin’s Fan-Throated Lizard ( Sarada darwini ).
The Fan-Throated Lizards live in underground crevices or inside cracked rocks. The bask around on tall rocks, twigs. Sometimes alone and sometimes in pairs.
Once breeding takes place in May and June, the young ones hatch in early or mid-October.
Their diet comprises of insects.
Males who are sexually matured have black, orange and blue iridescent patches on their throats of which the orange patch in Darwin’s Fan-Throated Lizard extends to its upper thighs. They also have yellowish and turquoise stripes on their throats. It resembles Sarada deccanensis which can be differentiated by the hind legs. Darwin’s Fan-throated lizard’s hind legs are longer.
Adult males puff their throat pouches or dewlaps to attract females during breeding season. It’s their courtship display in short. Another reason a male puffs his throat for is when he wants to display aggression in front of other males to warn them of his territory.
Female Darwin’s Fan-throated lizard has the same patterns like the male. The dewlap and colourful patches on the other hand are absent.
There are total 18 species of Fan-throated lizards in India. Sub-divided into two genera after Sitana ponticeriana as follows:
These are the names of the 8 species of Fan-Throated Lizard out of the 18 species:
Broad-headed fan-throated lizard ( Sitana laticeps)
Palm leaf fan-throated lizard ( Sitana visiri )
Superb large fan-throated lizard ( Sarada superba )
Darwin’s fan-throated lizard ( Sarada darwini )
Spiny-headed fan-throated lizard ( Sitana spinaecephalus )