Liolaemus is a genus of iguanian lizards, containing many species, all of which are endemic to South America.[2]

Kaldari Liolaemus tenuis 01.jpg
Liolaemus tenuis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Liolaemidae
Genus: Liolaemus
Wiegmann, 1834 [1]


Members of the genus Liolaemus form a dominant part of the lizard fauna of the southern part of the continent of South America, and vary considerably in size (45–100 millimetres or 1.8–3.9 inches snout–vent length) and weight (3–200 grams or 0.1–7.1 ounces).

Geographic rangeEdit

Liolaemus species are found in the Andes and adjacent lowlands, from Peru to Tierra del Fuego,[3] at altitudes that can exceed 4,500 metres (14,800 ft).[4]

Liolaemus magellanicus and Liolaemus sarmientoi are the world's southernmost reptiles, living as far south as Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and the northern shores of the Strait of Magellan respectively.[5][6]


Most species of Liolaemus are omnivorous, but a few purely insectivorous and herbivorous species are known.


There are more than 225 described species in the genus Liolaemus, but the true number of species may be about double this number.[4] Liolaemus is by far the largest genus of the liolaemid lizards, which are traditionally treated as subfamily Liolaeminae within the Iguanidae but more recently were proposed for upranking to full family Liolaemidae.

The following species are recognised:[7][8][9]


Some species of Liolaemus have been recently kept as pets, and as many of them originate from regions that experience cold conditions, they are named "snow swifts". More generally, the genus is known as "tree iguanas".


  1. ^ Ávila, Luciano J.; Morando, Mariana; Sites, Jack W. Jr. (2008). "New species of the iguanian lizard genus Liolaemus (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemini) from Central Patagonia, Argentina" (PDF). Journal of Herpetology. 42 (1): 186–196. doi:10.1670/06-244r2.1. S2CID 41772239.
  2. ^ "Liolaemus Lizards". Daniel Pincheira-Donoso – Homepage. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  3. ^ Schulte, J. (January 2000). "Phylogenetic relationships in the iguanid lizard genus Liolaemus: multiple origins of viviparous reproduction and evidence for recurring Andean vicariance and dispersal". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 69 (1): 75–102. doi:10.1006/bijl.1999.0346.
  4. ^ a b Olave, Melisa; Martinez, Lorena E.; Ávila, Luciano J.; Sites, Jack W. Jr.; Morando, Mariana (2011). "Evidence of hybridization in the Argentinean lizards Liolaemus gracilis and Liolaemus bibronii (Iguania: Liolaemini): an integrative approach based on genes and morphology" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 61 (2): 381–391. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.07.006. PMID 21798358. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  5. ^ Duran, Fernando; Boretto, Jorgelina M.; Fernández, Jimena B.; Molina, Mora Ibáñez; Medina, Marlin S.; Ibargüengoytía, Nora R. (2019). "Impact of immunological state on eco-physiological variables in one of the southernmost lizards in the world". Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 91 (4): e20190055. doi:10.1590/0001-3765201920190055. PMID 31778459.
  6. ^ Jaksic, Fabián M. [in Spanish] (2022). "Historical account and current ecological knowledge of the southernmost lizard in the world, Liolaemus magellanicus (Squamata: Liolaemidae)". Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. 95 (7). doi:10.1186/s40693-022-00112-y.
  7. ^ Genus Liolaemus at The Reptile Database
  8. ^ Abdala, Cristian Simón; Aguilar-Kirigin, Alvaro J.; Semhan, Romina Valeria; Bulacios Arroyo, Ana Lucia; Valdes, Julián; Paz, Marcos Maximiliano; Gutiérrez Poblete, Roberto; Valladares Faundez, Pablo; Langstroth, Robert; Aparicio, James (2019-12-02). "Description and phylogeny of a new species of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) endemic to the south of the Plurinational State of Bolivia". PLOS One. 14 (12): e0225815. Bibcode:2019PLoSO..1425815A. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0225815. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 6886809. PMID 31790476.
  9. ^ Abdala, Cristian S.; Paz, Marcos M.; Semhan, Romina V.; García, Noelia; Aguilar-Kirigin, Alvaro J.; Farías, María E.; Valladares, Pablo; Gutiérrez Poblete, Roberto; Quipildor, Matías A.; Valdes, Julián; Langstroth, Robert (2021-02-17). "Increasing knowledge of the denizens of saline environments through integrative taxonomy: new Argentinian endemic taxa of Liolaemus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) and their evolutionary relationships". Systematics and Biodiversity. 19 (2): 135–167. doi:10.1080/14772000.2020.1844818. ISSN 1477-2000. S2CID 231643832.
  10. ^ Ávila LJ, Morando M, Pérez CH, Sites JW Jr (2010). "A new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade (Reptilia: Iguania: Liolaemini) from Cordillera del Viento, northwestern Patagonia, Neuquén, Argentina" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2667: 28–42. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2667.1.2.
  11. ^ Breitman MF, Parra M, Pérez CH, Sites JW (2011). "Two new species of lizards from the Liolaemus lineomaculatus section (Squamata: Iguania: Liolaemidae) from southern Patagonia" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3120: 1–28. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3120.1.1.
  12. ^ a b c Quinteros AS, Ruiz-Monachesi MR, Abdala CS (2020). "Solving the Liolaemus bibronii puzzle, an integrative taxonomy approach: redescription of L. bibronii and description of three new species (Iguania: Liolaemidae)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 189 (1): 315–348. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz113.
  13. ^ Martinez LE, Ávila LJ [in German], Perez CH, Perez DR, Sites JW, Morando M (2011). "A new species of Liolaemus (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemini) endemic to the Auca Mahuida volcano, northwestern Patagonia, Argentina" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3010: 31–46. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3010.1.3.
  14. ^ Ávila, Luciano Javier [in German]; Vrdoljak, Juan Esteban; Medina, Cintia Débora; Massini, Juan García; Fulvio-Pérez, Cristian Hernán; Sites, Jack W. Jr; Morando, Mariana (2021-01-07). "A new species of Liolaemus (Reptilia: Squamata) of the Liolaemus capillitas clade (Squamata, Liolaemini, Liolaemus elongatus - kriegi group) from Sierra de Velasco, La Rioja Province, Argentina". Zootaxa. 4903 (2): 194–216. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4903.2.2. ISSN 1175-5334. PMID 33757095. S2CID 232338760.
  15. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Mapuche", p. 167).
  16. ^ Abdala, Cristián S.; Baldo, Diego; Juárez, Ricardo A.; Espinoza, Robert E. (2016). "The First Parthenogenetic Pleurodont Iguanian: A New All-female Liolaemus (Squamata: Liolaemidae) from Western Argentina". Copeia. 104 (2): 487–497. doi:10.1643/CH-15-381. S2CID 89253721.

Further readingEdit

  • Boulenger GA (1885). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume II. Iguanidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 497 pp. + Plates I-XXIV. (Genus "Liolæmus", p. 138).
  • Wiegmann AFA (1834). "Beiträge zur Zoologie, gesammelt auf einer Reise um die Erde. Siebente Abhandlung. Amphibien ". Nova Acta Physico-Medica, Academiae Caesare Leopoldino-Carolinae 17: 185-268 + Plates XIII-XXII. (Liolaemus, new genus, p. 227). (in German and Latin).

External linksEdit