Herp of the Day

August 23, 2020: Stenocercus fimbriatus

Today’s herp of the day is the Western Leaf Lizard.  S. fimbriatus is an uncommon lizard in the reptile hobby, valued highly for its unique, sleek appearance.  Very little information is readily available on this species, due in part to its very short tenure thus far in captivity.  That being said, here is what we do know.

The Western Leaf Lizard’s appearance allows it to camouflage easily with the leaf litter of the neotropical rainforests it calls home.  This lizard spends much of its time at the shoreline of small, shallow creeks, where it has been known to swim and hide in the water.  Therefore, though it is primarily a terrestrial species, it would not be inappropriate to consider it semi-aquatic.

In its particular shoreline niche, S. fimbriatus is able to feed readily on a wide variety of insects, as well as occasionally indulging in small fish.  This species is not known for strong swimming skills, and is at its best when hunting in the shallowest areas, where they can just barely submerge beneath the waterline.

Leaf lizards will generally venture no more than a few dozen meters from their chosen body of water.  It is not uncommon to see one basking on a low shrub, a few feet off the ground.  Though they blend best with browning leaves and silty creeks, S. fimbriatus will frequently spend time atop broad, green leaves, on which they have absolutely no hope of blending in.

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