This article is about lizards. For the genus of pitvipers formerly called Leiolepis, see Calloselasma.
Leiolepis, commonly known as butterfly lizards or butterfly agamas (Thai: แย้), are group of agamid lizards of which very little is known. They are native to Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. They are terrestrial lizards and prefer to live in arid, open regions.
Leiolepis is the sole genus of subfamily Leiolepidinae.
Common butterfly lizard, L. belliana
Scientific classification :
At least eight species are recognized:
- Sexual species :
Common butterfly lizard – L. belliana (Hardwicke & Gray, 1827)
Giant butterfly lizard, spotted butterfly lizard – L. guttata Cuvier, 1829
Burmese butterfly lizard – L. peguensis G. Peters, 1971
Chinese butterfly lizard, Reeves' butterfly lizard – L. reevesii (Gray, 1831)
L. rubritaeniata Mertens, 1961
Asexual species :
Böhme’s butterfly lizard – L. boehmei Darevsky & Kupriyanova, 1993
Peters’ butterfly lizard – L. guentherpetersi Darevsky & Kupriyanova, 1993
Ngo Van Tri's lady butterfly lizard – L. ngovantrii J. Grismer & L. Grismer, 2010
Thai butterfly lizard, Malayan butterfly lizard – L. triploida G. Peters, 1971
Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Leiolepis.
Relationship to humans:
Butterfly lizards are popular in the pet trade.
In the northeast region of Thailand it is popular catch butterfly lizards and eat them. In the South Central Coast region of Vietnam, especially in Ninh Thuan Province, Leiolepis is considered a delicacy for its nutrional value and can fetch high price on the market.
Traditional game :
In Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand, there is a traditional game called "yæ̂ lng rū" (แย้ลงรู; literally: "butterfly lizards hole down").
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Vlinderagame / Butterfly Lizard (Leiolepis belliana) in Thailand
1- Leiolepis belliana ( Common Butterfly Lizard ):
The common butterfly lizard (Leiolepis belliana), or simply butterfly lizard, is a widespread species native to Asia.
Scientific classification :
Binomial name :
(Hardwicke & Gray, 1827)
Uromastix bellianaHardwicke & Gray, 1827
Leiolepis bellii Gray, 1845
Leiolepis belliana — Boulenger, 1890
Common butterfly lizard
The specific name, belliana, is in honor of English zoologist Thomas Bell.
Geographic range :
It can be found in the forests of Indochina, Thailand, ((Myanmar ))and Malaysia.
It is known for the beautiful patterns on its back and sides. It has yellow spots on its back, and small orange and black lines on its sides.
Introduced species :
This species has been introduced into the United States, in Florida. It seems to have an established population there.
It lives on land that has been prepared for agricultural uses, as well as open sandy land along the coasts.
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Vlinderagame / Butterfly Lizard (Leiolepis belliana) in Thailand
Common Butterfly Lizard
Family : LEIOLEPIDIDAE
Species : Leiolepis belliana
Size (snout to vent) : 15 cm
Size (total length) : Up to at least 40 cm
Butterfly Lizards (family Leiolepididae) are a small group of distinctive lizards comprising around eight species.
The Common Butterfly Lizard breeds by normal sexual reproduction, however four species of butterfly lizard are parthenogenic (i.e. there is only a single sex which reproduces by cloning) : theMalayan Butterfly Lizard is one such example.
Butterfly Lizards are endemic to Southeast Asia, and they inhabit open areas such as disturbed agricultural land, and sandy coastal habitat.
The Common Butterfly Lizard is characterised by its greenish-grey colour, patterned with yellowish spots and its handsome black and orange markings along the flank. Juveniles are striped and have a reddish tail.
They can be found basking in the sun along sandy, forest trails, and can be locally common on golf courses. If alarmed they will quickly return to their burrows : at night these may be sealed with sand, probably as a defensive measure against nocturnal snakes.
The Common Butterfly Lizard occurs in the Mekong Basin of Indochina, and in coastal areas of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. It has not been found in Singapore.
Fig 4 : Specimen from Lanjut, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Fig 3 : The belly is attractively mottled in orange and blue.
Fig 2 : A smaller adult emerges from its burrow and patrols its territory.
Fig 1 : A large adult scans its territory from the rim of its burrow.
(Figs 1 to 3 from Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia),
Care Articles :
courtesy to : exoticpets.wikia.com/wiki/Butterfly_Agama
Also known as Butterfly lizard, Butterfly Runner or Smooth-scaled agama. Several subspecies are known
Leiolepis is the only other genus in the Uromastyx family and were originally placed in that genus. From Vietnam, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia where they are found in relatively dry, open scrub brush habitats. They are terrestrial and will often dig deep underground burrows to live in but also climb trees occasionally. These lizards are usually quite shy and nervous at first but soon calm down under the proper conditions. Some may become fairly tame but will always remain flighty, preferring not to be held and quickly running off on their hind legs if they can get away. It has been reported that in the wild they are communal, living in large colonies. Territorial aggression does not seem to be a problem in captivity but sometimes one will block the other ones access to food. This is more of a problem if only 2 lizards are kept together and separate feeding dishes will be needed. Better results seem to be had with 2 or more pairs being housed together. It is believed that this species is monogamous, pairing up for life. The body is slightly flattened with small, granular scales and a somewhat round head.
The tail is long, up to 2/3rds of the total length and does not break off naturally. Adult size is 18 to 20". They have a gray to olive green back, red to yellow sides with black stripes. This is only the basic color, as they are variable having other colors and/or patterns may be present, especially with males.
Daytime 85 to 90°F with a nighttime drop no lower than the mid 70s°F. A hot basking spot is needed at around 95 to 100°F. Provide a warm and a cool side in the enclosure so that they can choose a comfortable temperature at any given time.
Normally low, less than 50%, with higher humidity and misting to simulate the rainy season.
UV light must be provided (10.0 fluorescent) along with a basking light. Use a timer to provide a 12-hour day cycle.
Primarily insectivores but fruits, vegetables and flowers should also be offered. Crickets, mealworms and a variety of other insects are fine as the primary diet. Dead insects may also be consumed.
25% of the diet should be plant matter, but some individuals will refuse to eat any. Fresh mixed veggies with Romaine lettuce, kale, collard and mustard greens (finely chopped) may all be accepted. Favorite veggies are dandelion leaves/flowers and zucchini. As a treat, fruits and berries are generally relished but too much can cause loose stools.
A good vitamin/mineral supplement should be given once or twice a week for adults and more often for young, growing lizards.
Clean water should be available at all times. They prefer to lick up water drops but running water may also stimulate them to drink. A simple water dish may be adequate, especially if an air stone is bubbling in it. Otherwise, mist the tank in one area occasionally.
A 20-gallon long tank with a screen lid is adequate for a pair, a larger tank would be better. Floor space is more important than height. It is best to cover the back and sides to keep them from running into the glass. Set it up as a desert/savanna style habitat with a deep substrate of potting soil or coco-fiber mixed with sand for burrow construction. Keep the lower part somewhat moist but not wet or soggy. Décor, caves and other hiding places should be provided but be careful to place heavy objects in a way that will prevent tunneling cave-in accidents.
Males have more prominent femoral pores on the underside of the thighs and small hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail. They are also more colorful than females.
Butterfly agamas may be monogamous with pairs staying together for life. It is unknown if they will choose another mate if separated from the original one through death or capture for the pet trade.
If you do have a mated pair, courtship begins with the male bobbing his head. If the female is receptive, he will bite and hold her by the neck as he mounts her.
When she begins to look a bit heavier than usual, provide a good-sized nest box with slightly moist substrate to lay the eggs in.
2- butterfly agamas
courtesy to : www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/lizard-care-sheets
when I first bought these lizards I couldn't find much about them at all and have noticed others having the same problem. I have never attempted a care sheet before so this is only to the best of my knowledge through experience and the use of agamid lizard books and any information found online. If there are any mistakes or wrong info please let me know by PM but im sure, although my first attempt it is more usefull than nothing.
Scientific Name: Leiolepis belliana
Common Name: Butterfly Agama/Butterfly lizard.
Size: These lizards usually grown to around 12 inches including tail. It is possible for males to be slightly larger.
Distribution: The distribution varies depending on subspecies. Leiolepis Belliana Guttata are found in southern China and Vietnam. Leiolepis Belliana Belliana are found in the northeastern coast of the Gulf and Thailand, also on nearby islands; coastal strip of Sumatra and Bangka Island. Leiolepis Cuvier are most commonly found in Burma and East to Southern China and the islands of Hainan and Bangka. Leiolepis Reevesi are more Northern but information on this subspecies is limited.
Substrate: In captivity a deep sand soil mix can be used as substrate. These lizards do like to burrow so the deeper the better, these burrows serve as living and hiding places.
Heating: Butterfly Agamas mainly leave their burrows only in the warmest hourse of the day and enjoy a basking area of 95f-100f. In a very large enclosure with a good temperature gradient higher temps can be used. In their natural habitat the sun can heat the ground to 130f and in this they display their full activity. A night time drop should be given. I personally switch off ceramics at night and have a heatmat on the base at 88f aswell as a room temperature cool end, all of my own prefer to sleep on the heat at night.
Humidity: The information about the humidity prefered for these lizards is hard to find and depends on subspecies, there are varying opinions, I have found that with Leiolepis B. Belliana a large water bowl and misting every other day is sufficient. A sand soil mix also helps maintain humidity. Butterfly lizards which are overly humid do not do as well.
Lighting: As diurnal lizards they require full spectrum UV lighting
Feeding: Butterfly Agamas are primarily insectivores eating crickets, mealworms and small hoppers in captivity, however they also enjoy the occasional vegetables. This can include leafy greens (no iceberg lettuce), cress, grated carrot and small amounts of cucumber. Personally I find these lizards do not have the biggest appetite. Leiolepis Cuvier will eat more vegetables and less insects.
Decor: Butterfly Agamas are mainly terrestrial but will make use of low branches and bark, they would bask on rocks naturally so enjoy a higher basking area such as a raised slab, this also allows somewhere to hide under at night. They will hide in and climb hanging plants so ensure they cannot reach bulbs etc.
Vivarium: These lizards are very active and like to run and jump, they appreciate space so the bigger the vivarium the better. 4ft long + will be suitable.
Breeding: Butterfly Agamas have not been greatly studied in their natural environment and little is known about their breeding habits although it is known that they predominantly monogamous. Although monogamous they live in groups but inhabit their burrows alone or in pairs.
Considering the general lack of caresheets on these guys on the net this is pretty good.
I would like to add a cuple things though.
I have owned a Leiolepis Guttata (Giant Butterfly Agama) for about 5 years now and while im definitely not saying that I am an expert on them or anything, I have come to some relisations on them that you did not cover in the care sheet.
Heres a picture of my female since there aren't any pics up here
She isnt colourful because as I said she is a Leiolepis Guttata not Belliana, but the care is the same.
1. I think it would be only fair to point out to anyone that butterfly agamas are rare in the pet trade for a reason. They're amazingly coloured, elegant, small sized creatures, so many people wonder why there aren't more around.
The problem with butterfly agamas is their affinity to desiese and bone-related issues when in captivity. Ask almost any person who has worked with these guys before, and im pretty sure that non of their animals are 100% flawless.
In the wild they dig deep burrows and no matter how much substrate you add, you will not be able to replicate their natural environment. So when they dig in the tank they will get to the bottom and continue clawing away at the glass/wodd floor until they weaken their fingers to the point they just snap, no MBD needed.
Another problem is that before they properly integrate into their new habitat (considering that most in-store BAs are wild caught) they are very likely to get ill or already come ill due to bad conditions in pet shops. Mine for example had a lung, eye and tail infection within the first half year that I had her, but after that she's been 100% healthy (appart from finger/digit loss). She already came to me with the infections, but they were in their early stages when i bought her so i didnt notice it on the spot.
So even though they are relatively cheap (around 20-40euros, sorry guys im slovenian, dont know the pricing in pounds), they will most likely cost you a LOT more due to vet bills.
And if you're not ready to pay for those bills, then I dont think you should be getting one as a pet anyways.
2. Food wise:
What you listed for food was ok, but I'd like to add that they actually eat a lot more that that. They LOVE flower petals, especially Hibiscus and Forthysia petals, but make sure you pick them in a clean area (not next to the road, or especially not from flower shops because those are chemically modified for colour/growth/etc)... Almost all fruits are ok, Mango being one of their favourites (confirmed with other keepers). Mine also loves cherries, basically anything sweet, juicy and soft. Veggie wise, they can eat almost anything just DONT give them spinach.
But keepers should know something about the food they're offering to their herps. Heres a short sumup of good/bad common veggies/fruits:
Keep in mind that reptiles have a Calcium:Phosphorus ratio of 2:1, which means their body will want to keep it at this equilibrium. Feeding reptiles foods that are rich with phosphorus will cause the body to take the calcium from different places in the body to restore the 2:1 equilibrium, which means that the Calcium will go out of their bones/blood plasma, hence weakening them and in more serious cases causing MBD. And if the Calcium isn’t replaced the bones/ and blood plasma will still remain defficient and so gradually get weaker and weaker.
Anyways here are so foods that are rich with phosphorous and should tehrefore be avoided in large quantities: Bannana, Brussle Sprouts, CORN (has a Ca:P ratio of 1:13!), Tomatoes and Mushrooms
while some good Ca-rich ones are: Broccoli leaves, Cabbage, Chard, Kale and Watercress.
I have not, and will not attempt to breed these guys. Personally I believe it is unethical to breed such a problematic species, despite how nice they might look. But either way, from my female I have learned that, given a cooldown period over the winer (intentional or not) they will produce infertile eggs in the spring. Mine only started doing so last year (when she was already 4 years old). They show the typical signs of ovulation, their tail shrinks a great deal, they loose nearly all their body weight (quite a sad sight to look at) and their abdomen bloats greatly. You can see bulges on both sides of the abdomen once the eggs become big enough. They will usualy stop eating alltogether two weeks before the eggs are laid and then take a cuple days to recover before they start eating again (but make sure that when they do you feed them as much as they want. They are capable of regaining full weight within 2-3weeks). Do not remove the eggs right away, for the female will guard them viciously (my girl has never bitten me before, but as soon as i got too close to her nest she went for me mercilessly). Give her about 3 days to recover and then remove them when she isnt looking (given that the eggs are infertile, if they're fertile remove and incubate right away). They lay 3-6 soft shelled eggs (possibly more, not much documented as you said, mine laid 5 this season) that are deposited into a burrow. As I said the female will guard the burrow, and it has been recorded that in the wild the male and female will remain together and defend their burrow until the eggs hatch.
Heres a picture of my female with her eggs (she dropped them under the water bowl which i moved for this pic) and her body after she laid them:
(you can also see the fingerless feet she has due to the excessive digging i talked about earlier... its all healed up now, but as i said, most BAs look like that after a cuple years in captivity.)
And I hope that it goes without saying that they should be offered a large water bowl with fresh water every day. If you give them lukewarm water when you change it they will happily soak in it (mine flattens out and everything, clear sign that she likes it). They also drink a LOT compared to other desert-dwelling reptiles so water should ALWAYS be avaliable to them.
Anyways, now that I have written a whole essay I think I should shut up hehe :p
Either way, these guys are rewarding to work with, if not a little trublesome at times due to their healt issues. They do get quite tame but tend to have attitudes and dont tollerate handling for extanded periods of time (at least those I've worked with). Shyness tends to be up to the individual. My female isnt shy at all and she will sooner come up to you when you open the tank then run and hide, while her previous cagemate would run for cover as soon as anyone even stepped into the room.
Oh and one more thing, I dont advise having this species with any other reptiles, because they have a lot of spunk to them and would most likely turn aggresive on their cage mates (of different species, groups of BAs are perfectly ok). I once tried to put my female with a young freckled monitor just to see the reaction and she went for him mercilessly (i was expecting it to be the other way around), but no one got hurt as I quickly seperated them. Just goes to show that cagemates would most likely not be tolerated (and no i wasnt planning on putting a monitor, which prays on smaller lizards, in with her... it was just to test their reactions + the monitor was still smaller than her at the time)
Hope this helps, and please correct me if anything is wrong. As I said, Im no expert and Im not trying to sound smart by writing so much, I just wanted to point out everything i've learned working with them.
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- ASIA Species :