Designed by Paul Smith 2006. This website is copyrighted by law.
Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay.
Photographs on this web-site were taken by
Paul Smith, Hemme Batjes, Regis Nossent,
Alberto Esquivel, Arne Lesterhuis, Josť Luis Cartes, Rebecca Zarza and Hugo del Castillo and are used with their permission.
The Paraguayan Iguania consists of four currently recognised families, though all were previously considered subfamilies of a larger Iguanidae.
Members of the Iguania posess a prefrontal boss and the upper temporal arcade and postorbital arch are both complete. The parietal foramen is displaced anteriorly on the frontal or at the fronto-parietal suture. The m. intercostalis ventralis and rectus superficialis muscles are both absent. Metachromatism is exhibited. The hemipene is calyculate and the vertebrae are procoelous with no intercentra. There are 3 to 6 cervical vertebrae and no osteoderms.

A single Paraguayan species in the genus Iguana. This is a large, long-tailed lizard with a vertebral crest, typical of forested waterways along the Upper Paraguay River. Members of this family possess a m. mandibulohyoideus III muscle. The tongue is fleshy and not very extensible. No carpal intermedium. In the skull a separate postfrontal bone is present. Palatal teeth are usually absent but sometimes present on the pterygoid or palatine and the jaw teeth are pleurodont. The spenial bone is well-developed and there are six cervical vertebrae. Tail is not prehensile and the eyes and digits are normal. Metachormatism is poorly-developed. Adults are semi-arboreal, herbivorous and have a partitioned colon. Oviparous.

Five Paraguayan species classified in two genera Tropidurus (4 species) and Stenocercus (1 species). Characteristics as for the Iguanidae, but the colon is not semi-partitioned. These are small lizards, often with a slightly flattened aspect. They are largely terrestrial in behaviour but climb well. Tropidurids are insectivores and the breeding system is oviparous.

Two Paraguayan species in the genus Liolaemus.

Three Paraguayan species classified into three separate genera Anisolepis, Anolis and Polychrus. Characteristics as for the Iguanidae, but members of this family are more strongly metachromatic. They are semi-arboreal and frequently possess colourful dewlaps for signalling purposes. Furthermore many species are capable of vocalisations. Insectivorous with colon not semi-partitioned. Mostly arboreal.

Fouquette MJ (unpublished) - Synopsis of Recent Reptiles to Genus - Arizona University
Whitfield P Ed.
1984  - Longman Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia - Guild Publishing, London.