A new species of agamid lizard from Ghana



A new species of lizard of the genus Agama collected in the forest zone of Ghana is described. It occurs sympatrically with A. agama in S. W. Ghana and is related to that species and to A. paragama of Nigeria and Cameroun. The only known specimens form the type series. The known distribution based on sight records and specimens comprises the forest zone of Ghana west of 1d̀W and south of 7d̀N, but it is to be expected in Ivory Coast also. It appears to be rare or absent in the drier eastern Ghanaian forests. Although sympatric with A. agama, the two species occupy different habitats and rarely come in contact with each other, but in social behaviour they are similar. The new species may originally have been a rare animal of forest edge and natural breaks in primary forest. Recent disturbance of the forest may have allowed it to invade suitable artificial habitat within the secondary forest, arboreal plantations, and small clearings which are now the dominant habitats in the forest zone.