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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of lizards of the family Agamidae.

The trunk in Phrynocephalus is flattened and sometimes very broad. The body length, including the tail, ranges from 7 to 23 cm. In many species, the scales along the edges of the digits form denticles. The lizards are hard to find when camouflaged against a background of sand or clayey soil. They feed on insects and their larvae and on spiders. Most species are egg-laying, although some are ovoviviparous. There are about 45 species of Phrynocephalus, distributed in southeastern Europe and in Asia (from the Caspian Sea to China). In the USSR there are six (or seven) species, including P. mystaceus, the largest of the genus, found in Ciscaucasia, the lower reaches of the Volga and the Urals, and in Middle Asia; and P. interscapularis, the smallest of the genus, found from the Caspian to the Aral Sea. P. mystaceus is distinguished by the presence of large fringed skin folds at the corners of the mouth. When in danger, the lizard adopts a characteristic threatening pose.


Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 2. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Qinghai Lizard belong to Reptilia, Squamata, Lacertilia, Agamidae of Phrynocephalus. They are special species in China (Jin & Liu, 2007), occupying a special evolutionary status and playing vital roles in ecosystem balance.
Cladogenesis and phylogeography of the Lizard phrynocephalus vlangalii (Agamidae) on the Tibetan plateau.
Liu, "Cladogenesis and phylogeography of the lizard Phrynocephalus vlangalii (Agamidae) on the Tibetan plateau," Molecular Ecology, vol.
Elevational variation in body size of Phrynocephalus vlangalii in the North Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau.
I witnessed the same phenomenon on a stony plain in Kazakhstan; the little dragon Phrynocephalus versicolour was invisible to my eye--just another stone in a stony landscape--until I forced movement by unknowingly almost stepping on one.
Water collection and drinking in Phrynocephalus helioscopus a possible condensation mechanism.
In the agamid lizards of the genus Phrynocephalus, known as toad-headed lizards (see photo p.
The maximum size of prey effectively transported with the tongue in a generalized agamid lizard, Plocederma stellio, was approximately 5% of its body mass; but, regarding the strength of adhesive bonding in Phrynocephalus helioscopus (Schwenk, 2000).
Eimeria of sinaitae Kasim et Shawa 1988, a biliary coccidium (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Arabian toad-head agama Phrynocephalus arabicus Anderson, 1894 (Sauria: Agamidae) from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
From time to time, a toad-headed lizard (Phrynocephalus versicolor) or a ground jay (Podoces hendersonii) appears, while a noisy wingless grasshopper of the genus Damalacantha chirrs monotonously in unison with the wind.
The agamid lizard Phrynocephalus interscapularis is the most common reptile and can reach a population density of 100 individuals/ha (1 ha=2.5 acres) in the stabilized sands with scattered vegetation where it lives.