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Kaldari Liolaemus tenuis 01.jpg
Liolaemus tenuis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Liolaemidae
Genus: Liolaemus
Wiegmann, 1834 [1]

Liolaemus is a genus of iguanian lizards, containing many species, all of which are endemic to South America.[2]


Members of the genus Liolaemus form a dominant part of the lizard fauna of the southern part of the continent of South America, and vary considerably in size (45–100 millimetres or 1.8–3.9 inches snout–vent length) and weight (3–200 grams or 0.1–7.1 ounces).

Geographic range[edit]

Liolaemus species are found in the Andes and adjacent lowlands, from Peru to Tierra del Fuego,[3] at altitudes that can exceed 4,500 metres (14,800 ft).[4]


Most species of Liolaemus are omnivorous, but a few purely insectivorous and herbivorous species are known.


There are more than 225 described species in the genus Liolaemus, but the true number of species may be about double this number.[4] Liolaemus is by far the largest genus of the liolaemid lizards, which are traditionally treated as subfamily Liolaeminae within the Iguanidae but more recently were proposed for upranking to full family Liolaemidae.

The following species are recognised:[5]


Some species of Liolaemus have been recently kept as pets, and as many of them originate from regions that experience cold conditions, they are named "snow swifts". More generally, the genus is known as "tree iguanas".


  1. ^ Avila, Luciano J.; Morando, Mariana; Sites, Jack W., Jr. (2008). "New species of the iguanian lizard genus Liolaemus (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemini) from Central Patagonia, Argentina" (PDF). Journal of Herpetology. 42 (1): 186–196. doi:10.1670/06-244r2.1.
  2. ^ "Liolaemus Lizards". Daniel Pincheira-Donoso - Homepage. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  3. ^ Schulte, James A. III; Macey, J. Robert; Espinoza, Robert E.; Larson, Allan. (2000). "Phylogenetic relationships in the iguanid lizard genus Liolaemus: multiple origins of viviparous reproduction and evidence for recurring Andean vicariance and dispersal" (PDF). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 69 (1): 75–102. doi:10.1006/bijl.1999.0346. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-13.
  4. ^ a b Olave, Melisa; Martinez, Lorena E.; Avila, Luciano J.; Sites, Jack W., Jr.; Morando, Mariana. (2011). "Evidence of hybridization in the Argentinean lizards Liolaemus gracilis and Liolaemus bibronii (Iguania: Liolaemini): an integrative approach based on genes and morphology" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 61 (2): 381–391. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.07.006. PMID 21798358.
  5. ^ "Liolaemidae". The Reptile Database. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Avila LJ, Morando M, Perez CH, Sites JW Jr (2010). "A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemini) from Cordillera del Viento, northwestern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2667: 28–42.
  7. ^ Breitman MF, Parra M, Perez CH, Sites JW (2011). "Two new species of lizards from the Liolaemus lineomaculatus section (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemidae) from southern Patagonia" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3120: 1–28.
  8. ^ Martinez LE, Avila LJ, Perez CH, Perez DR, Sites JW, Morando M (2011). "A new species of Liolaemus (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemini) endemic to the Auca Mahuida volcano, northwestern Patagonia, Argentina" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3010: 31–46.
  9. ^ Abdala, Cristián S.; Baldo, Diego; Juárez, Ricardo A.; Espinoza, Robert E. (2016). "The First Parthenogenetic Pleurodont Iguanian: A New All-female Liolaemus (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from Western Argentina". Copeia. 104 (2): 487–497. doi:10.1643/CH-15-381.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1885). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume II. Iguanidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 497 pp. + Plates I-XXIV. (Genus "Liolæmus", p. 138).
  • Wiegmann AFA (1834). "Beiträge zur Zoologie, gesammelt auf einer Reise um die Erde. Siebente Abhandlung. Amphibien ". Nova Acta Physico-Medica, Academiae Caesare Leopoldino-Carolinae 17: 185-268 + Plates XIII-XXII. (Liolaemus, new genus, p. 227). (in German and Latin).

External links[edit]