The (bicolor) animal of the day

© Jeffrey Paul Wade


Nom : Agama mwanzae also called the Spider-Man agama.

Habitat : Discovered in 1923 in Africa, the Spider-Man agama is mostly found in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Taille : A. mwanzae is 23 to 40 cm long.

Way of life : It lives in dry areas, where it spends its time basking under the sun. The lizards live in small colonies led by a dominant male. This one is the male with the brightest colors.  
Agama mwanzae is insectivorous but can also feed on plants and small mammals. It’s favourite meals are ants, grasshoppers and termites.


A. mwanzae is famous for its color which gave it the nickname Spider-Man agma, based on Stan Lee’s famous superhero.
Its upper body is red, sometimes purple, while its lower body is royal blue. Only the male has the red and blue coloration, while the female is brown. But the male can also change color, as during the night or in case of stress, a brown coloration will appear.

During fights, the male’s head becomes brown and white spots can be observed on the rest of its body.  Most of the time, fights take place for the males to defend their territories, but also during the mating season where the dominant male will defend its females.
The female may lay from 5 to 7 eggs, which she will drop in a wet hole, enabling them to be exposed to the sun during the day. They will hatch under 8 to 10 weeks. When coming out of the egg, the hatchlings are baerly 4 cm long with a tail about 7,5 cm long.  

Today the Spider-Man agama is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. The market for those lizards is growing, but unless possessing all the necessary material, it is not recommended to adopt one.

Written by Laure GRIMONPONT
Translated by Matthias RUDEANU

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