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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]

31, see text

  • Platynotus
  • Strobilurus
  • Tapinurus

and see text

Tropidurus is a genus of reptiles. The genus Tropidurus includes many species of Neotropical ground lizards (family Tropiduridae). Tropidurus is the type genus of the family Tropiduridae, which is a family of iguanian lizards.

Geographic range and habitat[edit]

Species in the genus Tropidurus 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 species of the genus Tropidurus. 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.


The genus Tropidurus contains 31 described species, but new ones continue to be discovered. 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 thorny iguana are now often separated in the minor but probably distinct Uracentron lineage instead. In this article, 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 Tropidurus 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.


The following species are recognized as being valid (listed alphabetically by specific name).[2]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Tropidurus.


  1. ^ Tropidurus Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  2. ^ Tropidurus The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ Passos DC, Lima DC, Borges-Nojosa DM (2011). A new species of Tropidurus (Squamata, Tropiduridae) of the semiaeniatus group from a semiarid area in Northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa 2930: 60-68.
  4. ^ a b c Carvalho ALG (2016). Three new species of the Tropidurus spinulosus group (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from Eastern Paraguay. American Museum Novitates (3853): 1-44.
  5. ^ Carvalho ALG et al. (2016). A new Tropidurus (Tropiduridae) from the semiarid Brazilian Caatinga: evidence for conflicting signal between mitochondrial and nuclear loci affecting the phylogenetic reconstruction of South American collared lizards. American Museum Novitates (3852): 1-66.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wied-Neuwied M (1824). "Verzeichniss der Amphibien, welche in zweyten Bande der Naturgeschichte Brasiliens vom Prinz Max von Neuwied werden beschrieben werden. (Nach Merrems Versuch eines Systems Amphibien) ". Isis von Oken 14: 661-673. (Tropidurus, new genus, p. 663). (in German).