Image Source: Cropped screen capture from Flickr.

This week’s Creature Feature takes us to the cloud forests of the Knuckles Mountains in Sri Lanka.

The Leaf-Nosed Lizard, or Tennent’s Leaf-Nosed Lizard, is an endangered species that can only be found in Sri Lanka. Named for the leaf-like appendage on the tip of its nose, this lizard can grow over 8 inches in length (including the tail). Males tend to have longer appendages on their noses than the females and they are also typically greener in color. These lizards also have the ability to change color—in this case, a reddish brown—in order to blend in with their surroundings. This camouflaging technique is mainly used to avoid predators, as Leaf-Nosed Lizards aren’t exactly the fastest in the world.

Unfortunately, not much is known about Tennent’s Leaf-Nosed Lizard. At the very least, it is known that they mainly eat insects and other small anthropods, and it’s believed they use their crests and other ornamentation to communicate with one another; particularly where territorial boundaries and courtship are concerned.

Threats to this interesting creature include: climate change, habitat loss, deforestation, man-made fires, and pesticides. To find out more about the Leaf-Nosed Lizard, check out these links:

Arkive: Tennent’s Leaf-Nosed Lizard
Wikipedia: Leaf-Nosed Lizard
Biodiversity.MongaBay: Leaf-Nosed Lizard

By Heidi Marshall