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Tropidurus oreadicus.jpg
Tropidurus oreadicus on a wall in Belém, Brazil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Tropiduridae
Genus: Tropidurus
Wied-Neuwied, 1824[1]

Almost 30 known, see text

  • Platynotus
  • Strobilurus
  • Tapinurus

and see text

The reptile genus Tropidurus includes several species of Neotropical ground lizards (family Tropiduridae). It is the type genus of this family of iguanian lizards.

Geographic range and habitat[edit]

They are found on the South American mainland, especially in the Amazon Rainforest but also in more arid regions.

Common name[edit]

There is no widely used common name solely for this genus; in their native range they are simply called "iguanas" as are most similar animals. If anything, the Brazilian term calango is used to particularly refer to lizards of the genus Tropidurus.


There are at least 28 described species, but new ones continue to be discovered occasionally. An additional seven species—the Galápagos lava lizards endemic to the Galápagos Islands—are sometimes placed here too, but more commonly separated in the genus Microlophus instead. Similarly, the Green Thornytail Iguana and Tropical Thornytail Iguana are now often separated in the minor but probably distinct Uracentron lineage instead. Here, these two genera are kept separate, while Platynotus, Strobilurus, and Tapinurus are included in Tropidurus.


Males and females of all Tropidurus species are marked differently. The male is usually much larger than the female, and its body is more brightly coloured and distinctly patterned. The average size of lizards varies greatly from habitat to habitat as does the pattern of body markings. Markings vary considerably, even among individuals of the same species. Like many lizards, they show changes of colour with mood and temperature.


Listed alphabetically.[2]


  1. ^ ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).
  2. ^ Tropidurus, Reptile Database
  3. ^ Passos, D.C., Lima, D.C. & Borges-Nojosa, D.M. (2011). "A new species of Tropidurus (Squamata, Tropiduridae) of the semiaeniatus group from a semiarid area in Northeastern Brazil." Zootaxa 2930: 60-68.