Giant ameiva

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Giant ameiva
Amazon Racerunner, male.jpg
Amazon Racerunner, female.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Teiidae
Genus: Ameiva
Species: A. ameiva
Binomial name
Ameiva ameiva

Ameiva ameiva ameiva
Ameiva ameiva fischeri
Ameiva ameiva fulginosa
Ameiva ameiva laeta
Ameiva ameiva melanocephala
Ameiva ameiva ornata
Ameiva ameiva petersi
Ameiva ameiva praesignis
Ameiva ameiva tobagana
Ameiva ameiva vogli


Lacerta ameiva Linnaeus, 1758
Ameiva ameiva bilineata
Ameiva ameiva petersi
Ameiva americana
Ameiva bifrontata
Ameiva guttata
Ameiva litterata
Ameiva panchlora
Ameiva pleurotaenia
Ameiva surinamensis
Ameiva surinamensis var. aquilina
Ameiva surinamensis var. atrigularis
Ameiva surinamensis tobagana
Ameiva tobagana
Ameiva vulgaris
Cnemidophorus maculatus
Lacerta ameiva
Lacerta graphica
Lacerta litterata
Lacerta tristriata
Seps surinamensis
Teius tritaeniatus

The giant ameiva (Ameiva ameiva), also known as green ameiva, South American ground lizard, giant whiptail, zandoli, Amazon whiptail, and Amazon racerunner, is a species of lizard in the family Teiidae found in Central and South America and some Caribbean Islands.

Geographic range[edit]

It is widespread in Central America and South America, including: Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Surinam, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Paraguay. It is also found on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, the Grenadines, Margarita, Swan Island, and Isla de la Providencia.[1] It was also once present on Saint Vincent but has since been extirpated.


Ameiva ameiva has a streamlined body, pointed head, slightly forked tongue, and muscular hind legs. They grow to approximately 45–50 cm (18–20 in). Both sexes have random black specs and mottling along the sides. Females usually have much less green than males and a more dusty of a green color. Males have vibrant green coloration and more bold mottling. Males also have more expanded jowls. Green ameivas are popular as a pet because of the male's striking green coloration.


Giant ameiva live on the forest floor, often sheltering underneath logs and in leaf litter. Captive individuals have been observed making tunnels spanning out from under a log or rock when given enough soil.


The giant ameiva's diet consists of mainly insects, frogs, and spiders. In captivity, mealworms are a favorite of the ameiva along with crickets.


The female lays several clutches of eggs from March to December.

Invasive species[edit]

This species has been introduced into the United States with thriving populations in South Florida.


This species is infected by a number of protist parasites including:


  1. ^ Ameiva ameiva Reptile Database
  • Malhotra, Anita; Thorpe, Roger S. (1999). Reptiles & Amphibians of the Eastern Caribbean. Macmillan Education Ltd. pp. 101, 104, 106. ISBN 0-333-69141-5.

External links[edit]