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TAKYDROMUS SEXLINEATUS
The Asian grass lizard, six-striped long-tailed lizard, long-tailed grass lizard

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Classification

Phylum Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Lacertidae

Genus: Takydromus

Species: Takydromus sexlineatus

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THE STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF REPTILES IN THE WESTERN GHATS, INDIA

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TAKYDROMUS SEXLINEATUS

Takydromus sexlineatus, the Asian grass lizard, six-striped long-tailed lizard, or long-tailed grass lizard, is an arboreal, diurnal species of lizard. The tail length is usually over three times the body (snout to vent) length in this species.

Males and females are similar, males being distinguishable by the presence of pre-anal pores. On average they grow to around 12 cm snout-to-vent length, with the addition of a distinctive, prehensile long tail. Some individuals may have small circular spots on the sides of the bodies. This species of lizard is often kept as a pet.

Like geckos they can drop their tail and grow a new one when attacked.

The long tailed grass lizard is easily identifiable by a long tail, and has a white to cream coloured underbelly with a brown, green or beige back, often adorned with brown stripes of different shades. It typically has a small head with a sharply pointed snout and black or pink tongue. Its body is slightly elongated and thin with small pointy scales beneath the chin resembling a beard. Males have white spots on their sides, while females do not. Males have tails that thicken past the vent and are generally thicker than the female's down the entire length of the tail. The light stripes on the length of the body are yellower than the female's, which are more cream coloured. They grow up to 30 cm. long, with the tail usually being three times their body length.

Takydromus sexlineatus is found throughout South East Asia, and is native to a number of countries including India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. The subspecies ocellatus is found in areas such as southern China, north Burma and north Malaysia.

These are entirely diurnal lizards that emerge in the early morning to bask in the sun. If a potential predator approaches they will first remain completely still, and then if the danger persists, they will flee to the safety of foliage. Both sexes use arm-waving gestures (similar to a front crawl swimming action), apparently to communicate with each other. They are very agile and fast.

Takydromus sexlineatus feeds on small insects such as flies, In captivity they can be reared on crickets and like other small lizards may require a calcium substitute. It is advisable in captivity to vary food including mealworms, sterile maggots or waxworms in addition to crickets although it is possible to feed them garden caught insects. Unlike some larger reptiles, these lizards have extremely fast reactions and have been observed jumping into the air to catch flying prey such as flies.

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