DixPix Photographs



  Fauna:  REPTILES  


Snakes seem to be relatively rare and inoffensive in Chile.  Argentina has a few poisonous pit-vipers, and in all countries bordering the Amazon Basin there are bound to be some nasty ones in the adjacent forests. Snakes hold a special facination for many people, and several of their photos have been taken at the Centro Anaconda Serpentarium in Mendoza, Argentina.  The zoo in Buenos Aires also has an exibit.

Lizards are comparatively plentiful.  In particular there is the genus Liolaemus, which is described as the "South American Ground Lizards", although several seem to live in trees.  Many species are colorful, but there are so many species and so much variation within each species, that trying to identify them from photos is difficult.  Perhaps it is best just to enjoy some of their unusual appearances.

In 1966, the University of Chile published a nicely illustrated book by Roberto Donoso-Barros titled Reptiles de Chile.


Let's start with an all-out dragon attack.  I give this young lizard high marks for bravo, but he/she has a few things to learn about the world. Click to see big picture (285x480 pixels; 34 KB)
Likely the most photographed lizard in Chile is the Lagartija Esbelta (Liolaemus tenuis), partly for its three-toned display and partly for its habit of sunning itself near human habitation. Click to see big picture (640x346 pixels; 78 KB)
Lagartija Esbelta is actually more at home in trees, and in English is sometimes referred to as the 'thin tree lizard'. Click to see big picture (262x480 pixels; 86 KB)
Another colorful tree lizard is the Lagatija Pintada (Liolaemus pictus) here shown sunning itself on the southwest edge of Isla Chiloe, where sun is indeed a precious commodity.  Click to see big picture (640x321 pixels; 85 KB)
Switching to Rio Negro Province in Patagonian Argentina, this looks like the Magellanic Lizard (Liolaemus magellanicus). It is one of the species locally called Matuasto. grumbler
Again from Patagonia, a lizard with the intriguing name of Darwin's Grumbler (Diplolaemus darwinii) Click to see big picture (640x473 pixels; 130 KB)
This green patagonian lizard is also referred to as 'matuasto', but that name becomes confused with alpine lizards of the Phymaturus genus. Click to see big picture (475x480 pixels; 114 KB)
This happy looking specimen is likely the true mountain lizard, or Matuasto (Phymaturus sp.) mtnlizard
A Capon on a fence in northern Peru, apparently Microlophus sp.. Click to see big picture (619x480 pixels; 106 KB)
Another of that genus near a coast of the Atacama Desert, likely Microlophus (or Marianas) atacamensis, known as the Corredor del Atacama. Click to see big picture (474x480 pixels; 92 KB)
The Red Tegu or Largato Colorado (Tupinambis rufescens).  This is a large lizard native to northern Argentina, but here snuggling at the zoo in Buenos Aires. red tagu
A banded yellow lizard, photographed in two locations in southern Argentina.  It looks a lot like what has been described as Liolaemus gununkuna. Click to see big picture (439x480 pixels; 117 KB)
A rather spotted yellow lizard from the Rio Negro Province of Argentina.  This looks like Liolaemus huacahuasicus, if that species range estends this far south. yellow lizard
This green lizard climing a tree in the Maule Valley of Chile is likely Liolaemus chiliensis which seems to have many color variations.  It might also be the very green Cyan Lizard L. cyanogaster, and frankly doesn't look much like either. Click to see big picture (276x480 pixels; 79 KB)
Clinging to a fencepost near Vilches, Chile.  Alas there are many brown lizards, so no identification. (Maybe another color variation of L. chiliensis.) Click to see big picture (525x480 pixels; 101 KB)
A small and well camouflaged lizard called simply Lagartija Patagonica (Liolaemus martorii), more or less. Click to see big picture (624x480 pixels; 126 KB)
And finally a fancy, three-toned species, also from Patagonia.  This one seems to be a phase of Liolaemus fitzingeri, a species or complex that is presently rather messy. Click to see big picture (640x425 pixels; 166 KB)
And there are snakes also in Patagonia, this one, Philodryas patagoniensis has it right in the name.  The local handle of Culebra de Patagonia carries the same message, although the species seems to occur over much of Argentina and into adjacent countries. Patagonia snake
This is the 'culebra de cola larga' or 'longtailed racer' (Philodryas chamissonis) of central Chile.  Frankly it looks like the common garter snake of North America, but those have landed in a different genus. Click to see big picture (640x421 pixels; 140 KB)
From near Curico, Chile, this appears to be Philodryas trilineata. Click to see big picture (640x454 pixels; 158 KB)
This is the South American Rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrifius), a venomous pit viper of northern Argentina. There are a few dangerous snakes on the eastern side of the Andes, but unfortunately (or otherwise) I haven't met them in the field so these are captive examples. Click to see big picture (464x480 pixels; 135 KB)
The Yarara Ñata or Patagonian Pit Viper (Bothrops ammodytoides) is another venomous pit viper, said to be endemic to Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 130 KB)
And then there is the Crossed Viper, locally called Urutu or Yarara Grande (Bothrops alternatus).  This one is plenty poisonous, and variable in appearance.
Another coloration of the Crossed Viper.  One can see the pit viper "pit" below its eye.  These occur in both tropical and temperate forests, eastward from the Andes. Click to see big picture (615x480 pixels; 162 KB)
The Boa Argentina, also called Boa de las Viscacheras (Boa constrictor occidentalis), shared by northern Argentina and Paraguay. boa
Finally the Argentine Longnose Snake, also called Baron's Green Racer (Philodryas baroni).  There seems some dispute about how venomous this one is. Click to see big picture (485x480 pixels; 122 KB)