The Spiderman Lizard: Mwanza Flat Headed Agama

Apr 17, 2012 3 comments

The Mwanza Flat-headed Agama is a lizard found in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya. The lizard has an uncanny resemblance to the Marvel superhero Spiderman.

The head, neck and shoulders of the Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama is either a bright violet or red, while the rest of their bodies are a deep blue color. Almost fittingly, this delightful color combination is specific only to the male population of the species. The females of this Agama species are dull brown. After all there is no Spiderwoman, is there?

The Mwanza Flat-headed Agama can often be seen in the heat of the day basking on rocks or kopjes. Two years photographer Roy Daines captured an image of the lizard while on holiday in Kenya. Demand for the unusual pet soared soon after. Their recent rise to stardom has pet lovers and Spiderman fans clambering to buy the lizard as pets. Agamas is known to make good pets, as they become tame and docile if handled regularly. However, they require specialist equipment in the UK to maintain their temperature. They also require a special balanced diet of locusts, crickets, mealworms and waxworms. An adult Mwanza Flat-headed Agama can grow up to a foot long.


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The Spiderman-lizard is unable to throw webs, but can climb vertical walls just like its superhero brethren. Mwanza Flat-headed Agama can do another trick that Spiderman cannot – it can change colour. The brightly coloured males can change brown at night or if frightened. These colours may change again depending on the dominant male's mood. For instance, when male Agamas fight, their heads will turn brown, and white spots appear on their body.


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[via Ark in Space]


  1. Answering your question, there is a Spiderwoman, actually there are a few.

  2. Actually half of your photos are of the Red-Headed Agama, and those DO change colors depending on temp.

  3. Reptile Specialist- Raleigh, NCDecember 11, 2015 at 12:51 AM

    I am an expert in the study of reptiles! Actually Red Headed Agamas and Spiderman Agamas are the same thing! Color locations are the only different things about them!


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