Peninsular Rock Agama | 11 Aug 2022

Why in News?

Recently, a study has been carried out by researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru to understand several environmental factors (including urbanisation) that could affect the presence of the Peninsular Rock Agama/ South Indian Rock Agama.

What are Important Facts about Peninsular Rock Agama?

  • About:
    • The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) which is a type of garden lizard has a strong presence in southern India.
    • This lizard is a large animal, strikingly coloured in orange and black.
    • They do not generate their own body heat, so they need to seek warmth from external sources like a warm rock or a sunny spot on the wall.
  • Geography:
    • It is majorly found in India (Asia).
      • Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar hosts the population of the lizard.
  • Habitat:
    • It belongs to the Precocial Species.
      • Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching.
  • Protection Status:

What has the Study Revealed about the Lizard?

  • Rock Agama can indicate which parts of the city are warming, and their numbers show how the food web is changing.
    • Lizards need to seek warmth from external sources like a warm rock or a sunny spot on the wall as they do not generate their own body heat.
  • These lizards eat insects and are in turn eaten by raptors, snakes and dogs, they cannot live in places where there are no insects.
    • Insects are critical components of a healthy ecosystem as they provide many services, including pollination.
    • Hence, the presence of rocky agamas presents a good model system to understand other aspects of the ecosystem.

Source: TH