Looks funny. New species of iguana with orange tongue found in China

Looks funny. New species of iguana with orange tongue found in China

December 29, 18:00 Share:

New species of iguana found in China (Photo: Huang et al., ZooKeys 2023)

This species, which has a bright orange tongue, was found in the subtropical evergreen forests of Southern China and Northern Vietnam.

What was originally thought to be a species of Calotes versicolor turned out to be a new species, the researchers said.

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It was named Wang's garden lizard. ( Calotes wangi) in honor of Professor Yuezhao Wang, who played a significant role in the study of amphibians and reptiles. Calotes wangi lives in subtropical and tropical forests, mainly in mountainous areas and hills, being active at the edges of the forest. However, in addition to discovering a new species, the study also identified two subspecies: the Hainan garden lizard ( Calotes wangi hainanensis) and Calotes wangi wangi.

The specific features of the new species turned out to be unique. The adult male Calotes wangi has a smaller head compared to other Calotes populations. He, like his relatives, eats insects, but has an amazing orange tongue.

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While the researchers say the new species and subspecies are not under threat, they note possible risks, such as the use of their bodies for medicinal purposes and food, as well as the fragmentation of their habitat. In light of this, they call on the Chinese government to take environmental protection measures to conserve these species.

The results of the study were published in the journal ZooKeys.