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  • Writer's pictureJust Adventures Panama

Emerald Swift Lizard

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Emerald swifts or Green Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus malachiticus)  get their common name as a result of the magnificent bright green and blue coloration exhibited by mature males. They grow from 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in length. Like other species in the genus Sceloporus, their scales tend to be fairly stiff and heavily keeled, giving them a spiny texture.

These beautiful lizards are indigenous to the high altitude cloud forests of extreme southern Mexico and much of Central America. 

Emerald swift are diurnal, arboreal lizards. In the early morning they forage for insects, and then spend much of the day basking in the sun. They will retreat to a burrow, or under a rock or log if the temperature becomes too high or to sleep. Their life spans are believed to be between three and five years. 

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