Outside watering the garden, I noticed this Agama lizard climb onto the wall and it had what looked like some kind of meal in its mouth.
At first I could not identify it as I had never seen one with those red X markings before and only later on discovered that it was a female Southern Tree Agama and due to stress, the usual dull black markings had turned red.
Needless to say, I dashed inside to get my camera and an interesting drama unfolded. It is at times like this that I would love to have a video camera to capture it all.
What she had in her mouth was a large King Cricket (Parktown Prawn), a type of cricket and seemed to have considerable trouble swallowing it.
Was it too big? She made several attempts but could not get it down.
Then I saw what the problem was ...... the cricket had clamped it jaws on the Agama’s tongue and would not let go!! She made several vigorous attempt of trying to shake it off but to no avail.
The lizard started crawling up the wall with the cricket still firmly in place and I could only assume that it may have been trying to get to the opening above where I suspect it might live.
By this time I was feeling so sorry for the poor lizard and wondered if it was as painful for her as it would have been for a human?
Considering the kind of insects they eat, I would think that they would be used to some of them either stinging and/or biting them so are they immune to it?
Getting to the top, she once again shook her head in an attempt to dislodge it.
Freedom at last!! It seemed as if she was looking down to see where it had landed. I think that the cricket died at this point and that had loosened its grip on her tongue.
She crawled up into her space and rested after her ordeal which had taken about 20 minutes to unfold.
I found the cricket in the grass at the bottom of the wall.
What jaws it has!! No wonder it managed to hold on like it did!! Of course, it no sooner landed there and the ants were all over it taking advantage of the free meal the lizard had provided.