Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard, a rare chance to capture even with the naked eye.

Updated: Feb 23

#KangarooLizard #EndemicAmphibian

This is a really amazing lizard name Kangaroo lizard. The lizard got its name, "Kangaroo lizard" due to the ability of running bipedally when threatened. It also goes by the names yak (Devil) katussa & Pinum (Jumper) katussa or Thali (pendant) katussa. In Sinhala Katussa mean Lizard.

The scientific name is Otocryptis Weigmanni but it is commonly called the Brown-parched Kangaroo lizard or Sri Lankan kangaroo lizard, which is endemic to island Sri Lanka.

Pic: A lizard perfectly merges with its surrounding nature. Captured as it was on dried coconut crown leaves.

It can be found living in wet zones and mostly on the ground. It is fast with gifted long back-legs to find a safe zone when it’s afraid of something, it may climb little branches or stay still without making even a small movement. Kangaroo Lizard may grow to an adult body size of about 7 cm (2.8 in) snout-to-vent length (SVL), plus a tail 15 cm (5.9 in) long. The female is small in size. Its colour ranges from dark reddish-brown to dull brown. Males are darker than females.

Pic: A female Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard.

Pic: A male Sri Lankan Kangaroo lizard with its pendant.

The male one dances around the female by showing his colourful hanging throat, the pendant to get the attention of a female to enjoy and to ensure their family line of reproduction. It will bring its bag-like hanging throat out, but in order to see this, you may need to be patient and spend some time observing it carefully and not making any noises. In my experience, it is not that shy, and if you touch it with a leaf or soft stick, the lizard will try to stand still to let you know that’s not a live thing.

Spotting this amazing lizard is quite difficult because of its size and its ability to perfectly merge and camouflage with the brown dead leaves on the ground. I was lucky enough to spot one of these in action, and capture a few moments to share with you when it was attracted to a female by forgetting its surroundings for a bit. A real wildlife photographer knows how difficult is to capture an amphibian, like Kangaroo Lizard.

Photo credit: Donald Srimal

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