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Rainbow lizards, which earn their name from the long colorful bands of color that run lengthwise down their bodies, are members of the Agama family. Males are typically blue, with red heads. Females are a duller gray, with muted bands of color. They have smooth scales, with well-developed legs and long, straight tails. Their bodies average between 4 - 6", while their tails can stretch for another 8 - 12".
Agamids include 3000 different lizards which are widespread throughout the temperate and tropical regions in the Old World. They are most often found in Africa. Many agamids live around human habitations such as lodges and do-it-yourself camps. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates, and some species supplement these with fruits and leaves. Captive agamids thrive well on small crickets and other insects.
All agamids lay eggs. The number of eggs in a clutch varies according to the species. Some clutches are very small, and some are huge (between 12 - 100), but the average is 25 - 30 eggs in each clutch.
The males indulge in distinctive mating behavior. One will fight another by battering with its tail, and sexual success seems to determine the intensity of its color. The winner of a harem of females is always startlingly bright, but the defeated male turns a dull grey, similar to the females. To attract a female, the male will bob its head and show its bright throat. If the female is willing, they will move closer together and mate. A male's color will also change if it's stressed, or feels threatened.
Agamids love to run and climb, so provide them with a large enclosure, and plenty of hiding places. Make sure their enclosure is kept very warm, to simulate their native environment. Fresh water is essential. Try to vary their diet by offering crickets, fruit flies, earthworms, and other commonly available insects.
With proper care, these lovely lizards should live for several years.