Phrynocephalus is a genus which includes 33 species of small and medium-sized agamid lizards, commonly called toadhead agamas or toad-headed agamas, that inhabit open arid and semiarid environments of Asia and Eastern Europe. The systematics of this genus are very complicated with many controversial points of view about the unclear phylogeny of this group. All representatives of this genus have adopted the so-called "sit and wait" hunting strategy and they actively use visual orientation when watching for food. In general, the ecological niche and role of Phrynocephalus species in lizard communities of arid environments of Asia are poorly studied, but seem to be similar to that of Phrynosoma, Cophosaurus, Holbrookia, Uta, and Sceloporus in the New World, as well as Moloch in Australia.

Phrynocephalus versicolor Strauch, 1876 6.JPG
Phrynocephalus versicolor
in Bayankhongor Province, Mongolia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Subfamily: Agaminae
Genus: Phrynocephalus
Kaup, 1825

33 species, see text.


The following 34 species are recognized as being valid.[1]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Phrynocephalus.


  1. ^ Phrynocephalus. The Reptile Database.

Further readingEdit

"Caup [= Kaup JJ]" (1825). "Einige Bemerkungen zu Merrems Handbuch [= Some Remarks on Merrem's Handbook]". Isis von Oken 16: 589-593. (Phrynocephalus, new genus, p. 591). (in German).