Notes on Harpesaurus borneensis (Mertens 1924), a Live Bearing Agamid Lizard from the Lowlands of Borneo

Björn Lardner, Sing Yun Chin, Ulrich Manthey


The agamid genus Harpesaurus is poorly understood, partially due to their scarcity in collections. Two taxa have been described from Borneo, originally assigned to two different genera: Harpesaurus [Hylagama] borneensis and Harpesaurus thescelorhinos. Today thescelorhinos is generally considered a junior synonym to borneensis. We here report on three additional specimens collected in Sarawak in 2005. While the two new females had some scale characters distinctly different from the two females previously known, we consider all known specimens from Borneo conspecific. Most notably, the two new females were soon to give live birth. This constitutes the first known example of live birth in agamid lizards from a tropical lowland area.We discuss why this unusual reproductive mode may have evolved in this particular taxon.


Agamidae; Borneo; Harpesaurus; live birth; lizard; oviparity; ovoviviparity; viviparity

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