New Acanthosaura Lizard Discovered in Phuket, Thailand

February 27, 2017

Researchers have discovered a new lizard species living in the jungles of Phuket Thailand. The lizard, Acanthosaura phuketensis is just 35 cm in length and first discovered in 2015, has been confirmed a new species by Belgian biologist Oliver Pauwels, research associate at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium. 

Acanthosaura phuketensis, which translates to spiny lizard from Phuket, feeds on insects and is known for its sharp spines that go down its back. 

"Although Phuket is one of the most touristic places in the World, this is the third such major discovery our team made on this island, after a new gecko species and the now famous viper. They are endemic, which means they are found nowhere else on our planet,” Pauwels told  Island Conservation.

Acanthosaura phuketensis is a type of mountain horned dragon, also known as pricklenape agamas. They are an arboreal lizard that are found in Southeast Asia. There are 11 known species of Acanthosaura, including Acanthosaura phuketensis.

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