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Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: December 31st, 2022.

Taxonomy of the family Agamidae
Bibliography of the genus Acanthosaura
Biodiversity of the family Agamidae


Pricklenapes, Horned Tree Lizards, Horned Agamids, Horn-headed Lizards, (Angleheads)


Pignakkeagamer, (Kanthovedagamer)

1831 Acanthosaura Gray (type species: Agama armata Hardwicke & Gray 1827)
Contents: 20 species, of which 12 (60.0%) are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Wermuth (1967) erroneously omitted capra in his checklist of the family Agamidae, but corrected this in a later edition of "Das Tierreich". Distributions of some species of this genus have been confused, because of external similarities between species (Ananjeva, Orlov & Kalyabina-Hauf 2008). Presence in India and northern Myanmar needs confirmation.
Distribution: SE. Asia, W. Indonesia.
Reported from: Cambodia, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan), Indonesia (Anambas Islands, Sumatra), Laos, Malaysia (West Malaysia [Langkawi Archipelago, Penang Island, Perhentian Islands, Seribuat Archipelago (Aur, Tioman)]), Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam (incl. Cat Ba Island).

Acanthosaura armata

Peninsular Pricklenape, Peninsular Horned Tree Lizard, Horned Pricklenape, Armoured Pricklenape, Greater Spiny Lizard

Grosser Nackenstachler

Stor Pignakkeagam

1827 Agama armata Hardwicke & Gray
Lophyrus armatus Duméril & Bibron 1837
Gonyocephalus armatus Fitzinger 1843
Acanthosaura armata Gray 1845

Remarks: Known with certainty only from Thailand and West Malaysia. Presence in southern Burma needs confirmation, although reported previously from the country (e.g., Wermuth 1967). Reports from north of the Isthmus of Kra (Myanmar/Thailand) are either known or believed to represent crucigera, capra, or the recently described cardamomensis (Wood, Grismer, Grismer, Neang, Chav & Holden 2010; Grimser 2011). These records include southeastern Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China (e.g., Zhao & Adler 1993; Lazell 1999; Daltry & Dany 2000; David & Ineich 2009; Das 2010). Ananjeva, Orlov & Kalyabina-Hauf (2008) excluded armata from the faunal list of Vietnam, based on molecular studies and lack of reliable finds. Records from Sumatra were regarded as doubtful by Steiof, Manthey & Denzer (1991), but subsequently, one of these authors, and others as well, have included the island in the distribution of the species (e.g., Manthey & Grossmann 1997; Manthey 2008), in the latter reference with photo documentation.
Distribution: Indonesia (Anambas Islands, Sumatra), Malaysia (West Malaysia [incl. Penang Island, Perhentian Islands, Seribuat Archipelago (incl. Aur, Tioman)]), Thailand.

Acanthosaura armata
© Henrik Bringsøe

Acanthosaura aurantiacrista

Orange-crested Pricklenape, Orange-crested Horned Lizard


Orangekammet Pignakkeagam

2020 Acanthosaura aurantiacrista Trivalairat, Kunya, Chanhome, Sumontha, Vasaruchapong, Chomngam & Chiangkul

Distribution: Thailand.

Acanthosaura bintangensis

Bintang Pricklenape, Bintang Horned Tree Lizard, Bukit Larut Mountain Horned Agamid



2009 Acanthosaura bintangensis Wood, Grismer, Grismer, Ahmad, Chan & Bauer

Distribution: Malaysia (West Malaysia).

Acanthosaura brachypoda

Fansipan Pricklenape



2011 Acanthosaura brachypoda Ananjeva, Orlov, Nguyen & Ryabov

Distribution: Vietnam.

Acanthosaura capra

Green Pricklenape, Indochinese Spiny Lizard, Capra Tree Lizard

Grüner Nackenstachler

Grøn Pignakkeagam

1861 Acanthosaura capra Günther
Goniocephalus capra Smith 1935

Remarks: According to (Ananjeva, Orlov & Kalyabina-Hauf 2008), this species is restricted to Cambodia and Vietnam, although reported previously also from Laos (e.g., Smith 1935; Wermuth 1967).
Distribution: Cambodia, Vietnam.

Acanthosaura capra
© Rune Midtgaard

Acanthosaura cardamomensis

Cardamom Mountains Pricklenape, Cardamom Mountains Horned Agamid



2010 Acanthosaura cardamomensis Wood, Grismer, Grismer, Neang, Chav & Holden

Distribution: Cambodia, Thailand.

Acanthosaura coronata

Crowned Pricklenape, Crowned Spiny Lizard, Coronated Tree Lizard, Striped Pricklenape



1861 Acanthosaura coronata Günther

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of lepidogaster (e.g., Wermuth 1967). Revalidated by Kalyabina-Hauf, Ananjeva, Joger, Lenk, Murphy, Stuart, Orlov, Ho & Wink (2004) and Stuart, Ko & Neang (2006). See also Orlov, Nguyen & Nguyen (2006), and Ananjeva, Orlov & Kalyabina-Hauf (2008).
Distribution: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.

Acanthosaura crucigera

Northern Masked Pricklenape, Masked Horned Tree Lizard, Masked Tree Lizard, Masked Spiny Lizard, Cross-bearing Tree Lizard

Nördlicher Masken-Nackenstachler

Nordlig Maske-pignakkeagam

1885 Acanthosaura crucigera Boulenger
Goniocephalus armatus crucigerus Smith 1935
1916 Acanthosaura horrescens Lönnberg (Wermuth 1967)

Remarks: See under armata. Now restricted to western Thailand and southern Myanmar (Trivalairat, Sumontha, Kunya & Chiangkul 2022). Ananjeva, Orlov & Kalyabina-Hauf (2008) excluded crucigera from the faunal list of Vietnam, based on molecular studies and lack of reliable records. Records from eastern Thailand and Cambodia refer to cardamomensis (Trivalairat, Sumontha, Kunya & Chiangkul 2022). Records from southern Thailand refer to meridiona and phuketensis (Trivalairat, Sumontha, Kunya & Chiangkul 2022). Records from West Malaysia refer to bintangensis and titiwangsaensis (Trivalairat, Sumontha, Kunya & Chiangkul 2022).
Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand.

Acanthosaura lepidogaster

Brown Pricklenape, Scale-bellied Tree Lizard, Scale-bellied Spiny Lizard, Cuvier’s Spiny Lizard

Schwarzkopf-Nackenstachler, Brauner Nackenstachler

Brun Pignakkeagam

1829 Calotes lepidogaster Cuvier
Gonocephalus lepidogaster Pope 1935
Acanthosaura lepidogaster Taylor 1963
1837 Lophyrus tropidogaster [lapsus] Duméril & Bibron (Wermuth 1967)
1885 Acanthosaura lamnidentata Boulenger (Wermuth 1967)
1899 Acanthosaura hainanensis Boulenger (Wermuth 1967)
1904 Acanthosaura fruhstorferi Werner [not Dendragama fruhstorferi Boettger 1893] (Hallermann 2000)
1914 Acanthosaura braueri Vogt (Wermuth 1967)

Remarks: Previously included coronata (e.g., Smith 1935; Wermuth 1967). According to Wood, Grismer, Grismer, Neang, Chav & Holden (2010), lepidogaster does not occur in Cambodia, although reported by several authors (Smith 1935; Daltry & Dany 2000; Nguyen, Ho & Nguyen 2009). These records may refer to coronata, although at least the latter authors included both coronata and lepidogaster in the fauna of Cambodia. Acanthosaura fruhstorferi Werner 1904 was previously regarded as a synonym of Pseudocalotes brevipes (e.g., Wermuth 1967).
Distribution: Cambodia, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam (incl. Cat Ba Island).

Acanthosaura lepidogaster
© Henrik Bringsøe

Acanthosaura liui

Honghe Pricklenape



2020 Acanthosaura liui Liu, Hou, Mo & Rao

Distribution: China (Yunnan).

Acanthosaura longicaudata

Long-tailed Pricklenape


Langhalet Pignakkeagam

2022 Acanthosaura longicaudata Liu, Rao, Hou, Orlov, Ananjeva & Zhang

Distribution: China (Yunnan).

Acanthosaura meridiona

Southern Masked Pricklenape, Southern Short-horned Pricklenape

Südlicher Masken-Nackenstachler

Sydlig Maske-pignakkeagam

2022 Acanthosaura meridiona Trivalairat, Sumontha, Kunya & Chiangkul

Remarks: Previously regarded as a population of crucigera (e.g., Taylor 1963).
Distribution: Thailand.

Acanthosaura meridiona
© Henrik Bringsøe

Acanthosaura murphyi

Langbian Pricklenape



2018 Acanthosaura murphyi Nguyen, Do, Hoang, Nguyen, McCormack, Nguyen, Orlov, Nguyen & Nguyen

Distribution: Vietnam.

Acanthosaura nataliae

Gia Lai Pricklenape, (Natalia's Tree Lizard, Natalia's Spiny Lizard)

Natalias Nackenstachler

Gia Lai-pignakkeagam

2006 Acanthosaura nataliae Orlov, Nguyen & Nguyen

Distribution: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.

Acanthosaura phongdienensis

Phong Dien Pricklenape


Phong Dien-pignakkeagam

2019 Acanthosaura phongdienensis Nguyen, Jin, Vo, Nguyen, Zhou, Che, Murphy & Zhang

Distribution: Vietnam.

Acanthosaura phuketensis

Phuket Pricklenape, (Phuket Horned Tree Agamid)



2015 Acanthosaura phuketensis Pauwels, Sumontha, Kunya, Nitikul, Samphanthamit, Wood & Grismer

Distribution: Thailand.

Acanthosaura phuketensis
© Henrik Bringsøe

Acanthosaura prasina

Lesser Green Pricklenape

Kleiner Grüner Nackenstachler

Lille Grøn Pignakkeagam

2020 Acanthosaura prasina Ananjeva, Ermakov, Nguyen, Nguyen, Murphy, Lukonina & Orlov

Distribution: Laos, Vietnam.

Acanthosaura rubrilabris

Red-lipped Pricklenape


Rødlæbet Pignakkeagam

2022 Acanthosaura rubrilabris Liu, Rao, Hou, Orlov, Ananjeva & Zhang

Distribution: China (Yunnan).

Acanthosaura titiwangsaensis

Titiwangsa Pricklenape, Titiwangsa Horned Tree Lizard, Malayan Mountain Horned Agamid



2009 Acanthosaura titiwangsaensis Wood, Grismer, Grismer, Ahmad, Chan & Bauer

Distribution: Malaysia (West Malaysia).

Acanthosaura tongbiguanensis

Yunnan Pricklenape



2019 Acanthosaura tongbiguanensis Liu & Rao

Distribution: China (Yunnan).