Leiolepis ngovantrii

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Leiolepis ngovantrii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Leiolepis
Species: L. ngovantrii
Binomial name
Leiolepis ngovantrii
Grismer and Grismer, 2010

Leiolepis ngovantrii (Vietnamese: Nhông cát trinh sản, meaning "parthenogenic sand iguana") is a species of lizard that is all-female, reproducing clonally.[1][2][3] The species is named after Vietnamese herpetologist Ngo Van Tri (born 1969)[2][4] of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and is believed to be related to two other Vietnamese lizard species, Leiolepis guttata and Leiolepis guentherpetersi.[5]


L. ngovantrii in the type series measure 95–127 mm (3.7–5.0 in) in snout–vent length.[1] The lizard's back is covered with brown spots with pairs of yellow stripes running along her sides. Her coloring provides adequate camouflage in coastal sandy soil, as well as the mangrove forests during the dry season when grasses and leaves turn pale yellow.[6]

Scientific discovery[edit]

Though the lizard has been long known to and enjoyed by locals in Vietnam's Mekong River Delta, scientists described the species in 2010 after seeing them sold and eaten in many remote Vietnamese village restaurants in Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, South Vietnam.[5]


  1. ^ a b Grismer, Jesse L.; Grismer, L. Lee (2010). "Who's your mommy? Identifying maternal ancestors of asexual species of Leiolepis Cuvier, 1829 and the description of a new endemic species of asexual Leiolepis Cuvier, 1829 from Southern Vietnam" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2433: 47–61.  (Leiolepis ngovantrii, new species).
  2. ^ a b Leiolepis Grismer at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 26 September 2017.
  3. ^ Nosowitz, Dan (November 9, 2010). "Scientists discover self-cloning lizard species on Vietnamese restaurant menu". Popular Science. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Leiolepis ngovantrii, pp. 189-190).
  5. ^ a b "Scientists discover unknown lizard species at lunch buffet" (CNN, November 10, 2010).
  6. ^ Bí ẩn loài nhông cát trinh sản Archived 2010-11-10 at the Wayback Machine.. (in Vietnamese).