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Roughtail rock agama (Stellagama stellio brachydactyla).jpg
Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Stellagama
Baig, Wagner, Ananjeva & Böhme, 2012
Species: S. stellio
Binomial name
Stellagama stellio
  • Lacerta stellio
    Linnaeus, 1758
  • Agama stellio
    — Boulenger, 1885
  • Stellio stellio
    — Kasparek, 1990
  • Placoderma stellio
    — Kasapidis et al., 1996
  • Laudakia stellio
    — Manthey & Schuster, 1999
  • Stellagama stellio
    — Baig et al., 2012[2]

Stellagama is a monotypic genus of agamid lizards containing the single species Stellagama stellio.[3][1]

Common names[edit]

Common names for S. stellio include stellion, hardim, hardun, star lizard, painted dragon, starred agama, sling-tailed agama, roughtail rock agama, kourkoutas and kourkoutavlos.

Geographic range[edit]

S. stellio is found in Greece, Southwest Asia, and Northeast Africa.


Total length (including tail) of S. stellio is up to 35 cm (14 in) or slightly longer.[4]

Behaviour and habitat[edit]

Like many agamids, stellions can change color to express their moods. They bask on stone walls, rocks, and trees. They are usually found in rocky habitats, and are quite shy, being very ready to dive into cracks to hide from potential predators.


The name "stellion" comes from Latin stellio, stēlio (stelliōn-, stēliōn-), which referred to any spotted lizard, from stella, star.


There are several subspecies, and S. stellio is likely a species complex.[1] More research will be done, and this species may yet be split into several species.[3]

The following seven subspecies are recognized as being valid, including the nominotypical subspecies.[2]

Nota bene: A trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Stellagama.




  1. ^ a b c Amr, Z.S.S., et al. 2012. Stellagama stellio. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  2. ^ a b "Stellagama stellio". The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ a b Baig, K.J., et al. (2012). A morphology-based taxonomic revision of Laudakia Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Agamidae). Vertebrate Zoology 62(2) 213-60. (Stellagama, new genus, p. 222).
  4. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Linnaeus, 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, diferentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio Decima, Reformata. Stockholm: L. Salvius. 824 pp. (Lacerta stellio, new species, p. 202). (in Latin).

External links[edit]