Could there be a new lizard species in Uganda


(Posted 27th May 2016)

It is not only big game which visitors to Uganda can discover. Over 1.000 species of birds await to be seen, many of them endemic and some extremely rare like the ancient looking shoebill stork. Across Uganda’s ten national parks ( does the country showcase its rich biodiversity, amongst the global hotspots in fact, and yet, there seems to be always something else which can be spotted.
One of the owners of the Bwana Tembo Safari Camp near the town of Pakwach very recently discovered a lizard, not seen in or near the camp before.
This lizard therefore caught his attention in the sprawling wilderness grounds of the camp and when he photographed it and posted it on the Facebook page for East African Snakes and Reptiles suggestions were made by more knowledgeable members of that page fraternity, which, if found correct, might add yet another previously absent species to the record book of Uganda. (
One source suggested it might be the ‘Heliobolus Spekii‘, a species not found to be resident in Uganda until now, while another thought that perhaps it was a ‘Heliobolus Nitidus‘ but then requested more close up pictures of head and underbody.
While the scientific discussion is ongoing, no firm identification has been made as yet, does the find show that Uganda can hold her own when it comes to making a choice of a safari destination in Eastern Africa. The common tourist Visa, which covers at a cost of 100 US Dollars per person visits to not just Uganda but also Rwanda and Kenya, makes it attractive to visit more than one country when in the region, and then, while in Uganda, look out for some of the 14 primate species, the over 1.000 bird species and, as shown here, perhaps for new lizard species too.

Anyone with specific knowledge about this particular lizard is welcome to revert here or else ask for the contact of Francesco or Davide Dal Lago to confirm the particulars of this reptile.
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