Agam families; distributed in the steppes and deserts of Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Afghanistan, northern Iran to eastern Ciscaucasia in the west, and northwestern China in the east. The steppe agama is characterized by a homogeneous, ribbed scales with spiked spikes, a small hole for the ears, in the depth of which there is an eyelet. The total length does not exceed 30 cm, adult males are noticeably longer than females. Young agamas are light gray on top with oval spots that run along the ridge and on the sides. Older lizards become gray or yellowish-gray; dark spots in males almost always disappear. With a rise in temperature or with nervous excitement, the color becomes bright. In males the throat, the lower surface of the trunk and limbs become black-blue, cobalt-blue spots appear on the back, and the tail acquires a bright orange-yellow color.
The steppe agama inhabits sandy, clayey and rocky deserts and semi-deserts, adhering to places with bushy vegetation. It is also found in tugai forests along river banks, often in close proximity to water. Agamas use rodent inlets, spaces under rocks and cracks in the ground as shelters. Less often they dig their holes between the roots or at the base of the stones. Various insects, spiders and wood lice serve them as food, which they cleverly catch with the help of a sticky tongue, as well as succulent parts of plants, flowers. Agamas runs very fast, keeping his body raised on his outstretched legs and not touching his tail with his tail. They climb the trunks and branches of trees and bushes extremely cleverly, sometimes jumping from branch to branch at a distance of half a meter. In the villages you can see them running on the vertical surfaces of tiles and stone fences and walls.
The steppe agama leads daily life; they do not have the ability to throw a tail. One, rarely two females live in a male place. In late April – early May, the female digs a cone-shaped fossa 3-5 cm deep in loose soil and lays 5-10 eggs in it. Reconstruction occurs in late May and late July. After 50-60 days, young lizards 32-40 mm long hatch from the eggs.
In captivity, steppe agamas are kept in horizontal terrariums. Soil – sand with moisture below. The terrarium must have branches on which agamas like to sit. General humidity is low. The temperature is 28–30 ° C during the day and 20–25 ° C at night. They contain steppe agamas in groups of one male and several females, as the males are very cracked. They feed on insects, apples, oranges, bananas, lettuce and sprouts. Mating takes place in March-May. Pregnancy is about 40 days. Beginning in April, females lay 2-3 servings of eggs from 4 to 18 eggs. Incubation at 27–28 ° C lasts 50–52 days.
Panorama “Steppes and semi-deserts”
The total length of the stepped agama does not exceed 30 cm, and the length of the body with the head up to 12 cm, the tail is 1.3-2 times longer than the body. Body weight up to 45 g (according to other sources up to 62 g). In Ciscaucasia, agamas are smaller compared to Central Asian: their body length is up to 8.5 cm, weight up to 27 g. Adult males are noticeably longer than females, having preanal corns. The upper incisions of the head are slightly convex, not ribbed. The occipital lobe, on which the parietal eye is placed, is the same size as the surrounding joints. The nostrils are located at the back of the nasal joints and are almost invisible from above. Upper labial valves 15-19. A small hole for the outer ear is clearly defined, in the depth of which the tympanic cavities are located. Above it are 2-5 elongated prickly scales. The scales on the body are homogeneous (this distinguishes steppe agama from closely related agama ruins),
The color of the young agama is light gray at the top with a series of light gray more or less oval spots extending along the ridge extending to the base of the tail, and two rows of the same elongated spots along the lateral sides of the body. Between the spots of adjacent rows are larger dark brown or dark gray spots. There are sharp darker transverse stripes on the upper side of the legs and on the tail. With the onset of maturity, the color changes, and adult lizards become gray or yellowish-gray. In males, dark spots almost completely disappear, and light gray dark ones, in females as a whole, juvenile coloring remains.
As the temperature rises, as in the excited state, the color of the adult agamas changes and becomes very bright. In this case, obvious sexual dimorphism in color is observed. In males the throat, abdomen, sides and limbs become dark or even black-blue, cobalt-blue spots appear on the back, and the tail acquires a bright yellow or orange-yellow color. Females become bluish-greenish-yellow, dark spots on the back are orange or rusty-orange, and the legs and tail get the same color as the males, but less light in color. However, an agam from Ciscaucasia described color differences between the sexes.
Habitat and habitat
The steppe agama is widespread in the deserts and semi-deserts of eastern Ciscaucasia (Russia), southern Kazakhstan, central Asia, northern and northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and northwestern China. In Central Asia, the northern boundary of the range extends from the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea just south of the Emba River, encompasses the Mugodjar Mountains to the south and, through the lower course of the Turgai River and the valley of the middle course of the Sarysu River, descends to the northern shore of Lake Balkhash. the foothills of Tarbagata. It penetrates river valleys to the foothills of Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai, meeting near the cities of Osh in Kyrgyzstan and Chubek in southwestern Tajikistan.
It lives in sandy, clayey and rocky deserts and semi-deserts, preferring places with bushy or semi-shady vegetation. It is also found on gentle rocky slopes at the foot (known up to 1200 m above sea level in Kopetdag), on the periphery of weakly fortified sands, along river banks and in tugai forests, often near water, near settlements and along the roadside.
In the Asian part of the range, steppe agama is one of the most common lizards of steppes and deserts, its average number is about 10 individuals / ha, in the spring in gerbil colonies up to 60. In Eastern Ciscaucasia, the range of this species is very small and constantly decreasing, the number is small, which is due to the rather severe climatic conditions for steppe agamas and intense anthropogenic impact.
After wintering, steppe agamas appear in mid-February – early April, depending on the area of distribution, males leave the winter shelter earlier than females. In winter, they leave at the end of October. In spring and autumn, lizards are active in the middle of the day, in summer in the morning and in the evening. The periods of maximum activity of adults and young people usually do not coincide. Deftly climbing trunks and branches, agamas often climb the branches of bushes, protecting themselves from overheating on hot sand at hot times of the day and fleeing enemies, males inspect their site protecting it from invasion by other males. In eastern Karakum, they sometimes spend nights in the bushes. It is capable of jumping from branch to branch at a distance of up to 80 cm. Agamas run very fast on the ground keeping their body raised on outstretched legs and not touching the ground with their tails. In the villages they can be seen running on the vertical surfaces of stone and stone tiles and the walls of buildings. Steppe agamas use burrowing germs, masts, ground squirrels, hedgehogs, turtles, cavities under rocks and crevices in the ground as shelters. Less often they dig their own furrows, located between the roots or at the base of the stones. Each adult lizard has a relatively small habitat, beyond which it rarely spreads. Demonstration behavior involves squats combined with a rhythmic nod of the head. beyond which it seldom extends. Demonstration behavior involves squats combined with a rhythmic nod of the head. beyond which it seldom extends. Demonstration behavior involves squats combined with a rhythmic nod of the head.
The steppe agama feeds mainly on a variety of insects, mainly beeches and ants, as well as spiders, hooves, wooden ears and succulent parts of plants, especially flowers, leaves and stems. Lizard insects skillfully catch the sticky tongue.
Maturity occurs in the second year of life with a body length of 6.5-8.0 cm. During the breeding season, mature males rise to the upper branches of the bushes, from where the site is clearly visible. When an opponent appears, the owner quickly descends to meet him and chase the alien. During this period, males and females usually remain in pairs, and one, rarely two or three females live in a male place. Mating usually occurs in April. In late April – early June, the female, 3-5 cm deep, in a conical hole dug into the loose soil, or lays eggs in the hole. The volume of the wall depends on the age of the female. Possible 1-2 rebuilds per season. The second clutch in Central Asia occurs in mid-June – early July, the third, if any, in mid – late July. During the season, the female lays 4-18 eggs measuring 9-13 x 18-21 mm in three or four parts. The incubation period lasts 50-60 days,
- Trapelus sanguinolentus sanguinolentus – a nominative subspecies, lives in Russia in eastern Ciscaucasia isolated from the main area within Chechnya, Dagestan (Nogai steppe) and Stavropol Territory;
- Trapelus sanguinolentus aralensis – Eastern Caspian subspecies, distributed over the rest of a huge range of species.
Typical viewing area: Kum-Ankatar in the Terek Valley.
Steppe agamas are stored in terrariums of the horizontal type at a temperature of + 28 … + 30 ° C during the day (under a heater up to +35 ° C), + 20 … + 25 ° C at night and low humidity. Sand with moisture from below is used as the soil. Be sure to place branches on which agamas spend a lot of time. Since males are very disgusting during the mating season, it is better to keep steppe agamas in groups of one male and several females. They feed mainly on insects, as well as apples, oranges, bananas, salads and oatmeal, which they also eat well. Mating in March – May. From April, 2-3 portions of females lay 4-18 eggs. Thus, the pregnancy lasts about 40 days. Incubation of eggs at a temperature of + 27 … + 28 ° C lasts 50-52 days.