What secret does the Secret Toadhead Agama have in store for its attackers, or any other perceived threat? I’ll tell you in a minute.
This little guy, otherwise known as Phrynocephalus mystaceus, is a species of lizard found in Iran, North Afghanistan, Eastern Caucasus, Kazakhstan, and possibly in south of Astrakhan Oblast. This species can grow in length to approximately 9 inches (24 centimeters).
So, what’s the big secret?
At first, the Secret Toadhead Agama looks pretty much like any other lizard. It cleverly disguises itself by looking like the sand it lives in, with its sandy-colored scales. Its unique appearance comes from its wide mouth and an interesting, pig-like nose.
The “secret” is its bright red oral display frill. When frightened or surprised, the Secret Toadhead Agama presents its frilly skin flaps, alongside the mouth, to make it appear larger and more fierce. It hisses and bares its teeth as well to give it that extra fright-factor. I can imagine it’s quite effective actually. It works for me.
Another fascinating feature of the Secret Toadhead Agama is its ability to burrow itself into the sand with a simple shimmy. It only takes a few seconds and then you’d never know it’s there. Take a look at this video. Check out his profile too. He’s pretty unique, huh?
Right? I love this little thing. It’s cute and compact, seems quite able to take care of itself, and has a lot of tricks under his, uh, sleeve. Or, skin flaps, I guess. He’s fast too. Super fast. I tried to find a good video to show you his speed, but I couldn’t find a very good one.
These can be had through the exotic pet industry but I don’t know too much about that. (I’ll stick to my Bearded Dragons for now.) I’m pretty sure, however, they wouldn’t be a good choice of pet if you’re looking for something cuddly. I doubt they like to cuddle, and would get away from your grip in a heartbeat.
I’ve heard these referred to as “frillies” as well. If you have one, or know someone who has one (or more), drop me a message. I’d love to hear your experiences with them. Maybe you’d care to write a guest post?