Daily Decay (25th January 2018)

Daily Decay (25th January 2018): Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) @ Lorong Halus

Ventral aspect of the Green Iguana carcass. Photograph by Ian Chew.

Roadkill Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) at Upper Thomson

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Old Upper Thomson Road; 8 January 2017; 1700 hrs.

Observation: A carcass of a Green Iguana was found on the road. It may have been run over by a vehicle. Its snout-vent length was approximately 20 cm. The total length was 35 cm, but the tail was incomplete, possibly due to a prior injury.

Remarks: Green Iguanas are not native to Singapore. Adult and juvenile individuals, very likely abandoned pets and their progeny, have been recorded in the western and northern parts of Singapore, including Bukit Batok (Tay, 2015), Jurong (Low et al., 2016), Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (Chua, 2007) and Kranji Reservoir around Sungei Tengah (Ng & Lim, 2014; Khoo, 2016). This appears to be the first published record in the central part of the island, at the edge of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.


  • Chua. E.K., 2007. Feral Iguana attacks Varanus salvator at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Biawak. Quarterly Journal of the International Varanid Interest Group. 1 (1): 35-36.
  • Khoo, M. D. Y., 2016. Green Iguanas at Kranji Reservoir. Singapore Biodiversity Records. 2016: 185.
  • Low, M. R., D. P. Bickford, M. Tan & L. C. Neves, 2016. Malayopython (Python) reticulatus. Diet. Herpetological Review. 17 (1):148.
  • Ng B. C. & K. K. P. Lim, 2015. Green Iguana at Sungei Tengah. Singapore Biodiversity Records. 2015: 51.
  • Tay J. B., 2015. Green Iguana at Burgundy Crescent. Singapore Biodiversity Records. 2015: 188.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2017: 5

Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) (L) and Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) ® @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

What’s the connection between the Changeable Lizard and the Green Crested Lizard? Final couple of hours to drop by the Festival of Biodiversity to learn more about Singapore’s flora and fauna!

Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
Lim Chu Kang, 17th December 2015

This Changeable Lizard carcass was impaled on barbed wire. It’s possibly that it had been caught by a Shrike, which are known to use thorns and barbed wire to hold prey in place while smaller chunks of flesh are ripped off and swallowed. This is also a way to cache food, especially if the prey item is too large to be consumed in one sitting. Three species of Shrikes are known from Singapore, the Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) is a resident breeder here, whereas the Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) and Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) are migratory species that appear in Singapore during the migration season.

Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
Kranji, 16th May 2015

Common Gliding Lizard (Draco sumatranus)
Sungei Buloh, 21st March 2014

This Common Gliding Lizard was still alive (albeit weak and not very responsive) when first spotted in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, but was subsequently found dead a while later that day. Based on the size and bluish colour of the gular flag, this individual was a female.