Tetrapod Zoology

The mystery of Ermentrude the lizard

i-34145f4aff0bfe096388fdd851b879f3-Ermie 1.jpg

This is Ermentrude, or Ermie, the best lizard I ever kept. Despite his name he was a male (I think). He got used to being handled but didn’t like having his claws clipped. Strangely, he liked banana and once he ate a load of white butterfly chrysalises. Anyway… can you succeed where so many have failed. Can you identify the species that Ermentrude belonged to? The photos aren’t great, but they’re all I have…

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  1. #1 Stevo Darkly
    February 26, 2008

    A gorgon?

  2. #2 Filipe Martinho
    February 26, 2008

    Perhaps a Tropidurus or related species?

  3. #3 Will Baird
    February 26, 2008

    A gorgon?

    No fangs.


    ah. Better.

  4. #4 Hai~Ren
    February 26, 2008

    Albino squirrel? Sealion? Baboon? Rhinogradentian?

    Hmm… I was thinking tropidurid, lacertid or teiid, but there’s something about the head in the second photo that hints at agamid or iguanid…

  5. #5 Lars
    February 26, 2008

    Or a Liolaemus, at least something within that clade. One of those South American groups, anyway – sceloporine head but the body and tail are wrong, but it’s definitely an iguanian.

  6. #6 John Scanlon, FCD
    February 26, 2008

    If it were Australian, it would be an Egernia. But it’s not (with those caudal scales in rings!), so it’s going to be something from southern Africa or South America (or Madagascar?). I wouldn’t say definitely whether it’s scincomorph or iguanian, but it’s one of the two and I’m pretty sure it’s neither scincid, lacertid nor acrodontan. Far too many legs, anyhow.

  7. #7 HP
    February 27, 2008

    It’s an ordinary house cat, F. sylvestris catus. The lack of any recognizable landscape features for scale gives the appearance of a small lizard.

    Fool me once, …

  8. #8 Emile
    February 27, 2008

    It’s a tetrapod! (Ha, got that one right).

    Other than that, I think it looks vaguely like an agamid…

  9. #9 johannes
    February 27, 2008

    *Eremias*? Although the head looks a little bit too iguanian for a lacertid…

  10. #10 John Conway
    February 27, 2008

    It’s a ropen! It looks prehistoric!

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?
    February 27, 2008


    That would explain the name…

    Just to shoot my mouth off: Looks iguanian.

  12. #12 Sven DiMilo
    February 27, 2008

    Clearly iguanian. Not North American. Tropidurine is a good guess, especially given the taste for fruit.

  13. #13 DDeden
    February 27, 2008

    Tetrapodial reticulated reptilian ermine obviously, but specific species?, sorry I can’t give out that sort of detailed information on the internet!

  14. #14 TonyB
    February 27, 2008

    Looks like a Curly Tailed Lizard…
    Leiocephalux spp. or Tropidurus spp….maybe a very nicely patterned Leiocephalux carinatus?

  15. #15 macroclemys
    February 27, 2008

    Is it a Central Netted Lizard (Ctenophorus nuchalis)?

  16. #16 macroclemys
    February 27, 2008

    In retrospect, that’s probably not it…but this picture looks a lot like the second pic of Ermentrude:

  17. #17 Zach Miller
    February 27, 2008

    It’s not nearly as cute as Big Boss, my wonder gecko.

  18. #18 John Scanlon, FCD
    February 28, 2008

    I’ve got it now. It’s a Prey item.

    (Sorry Darren, I understand how one feels about pets, but had to say it. It’s funny because it’s true.)

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