Rail lizards

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Rail lizards
Goldteju (Tupinambis teguixin)

Goldteju ( Tupinambis teguixin )

without rank: Amniotes (Amniota)
without rank: Sauropsida
Superordinate : Scale lizards (Lepidosauria)
Order : Scale reptiles (Squamata)
without rank: Lacertoidea
Family : Rail lizards
Scientific name
Gray , 1827

The rail lizards (Teiidae), also called Tejus , are a family in the class of reptiles (Reptilia).


They occur exclusively in Central and South America. They were introduced into other areas.


The length is between eight centimeters and 1.5 meters. They are characterized by a thin, long tail and, like the monitor lizards, by a long, deeply incised tongue that is used for foraging. Your head shields are not fused with the skull bone.

Way of life

What is remarkable about the rail lizards is that in some species only females exist. They do without males and lay eggs without fertilization, from which only females hatch. ( See parthenogenesis )

Some species specialize in a particular food. The Krokodilteju feeds mostly on water snails and lives mostly in water. Others are predominantly ground dwellers and feed on small mammals and insects.

Origin of name

They got the name rail lizards because of their large scales on their belly.


Ameiva fuscata


  • Gunther Koehler, Bert Langerwerf: Tejus. Way of life, care, breeding. Herpeton, Offenbach 2000, ISBN 3-9806214-3-X .
  • Harold Cogger, Richard Zweifel: Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-8289-1559-0 .
  • Eric R. Pianka, Laurie J. Vitt: Lizards. Windows to the Evolution of Diversity (= Organisms and Environments. Vol. 5). University of California Press Berkeley CA et al. 2003, ISBN 0-520-23401-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. Goicoechea, N., Frost, DR, De la Riva, I., Pellegrino, KCM, Sites, J., Rodrigues, MT & Padial, JM: Molecular systematics of teioid lizards (Teioidea / Gymnophthalmoidea: Squamata) based on the analysis of 48 loci under tree alignment and similarity alignment. Cladistics, March 2016, doi: 10.1111 / cla.12150
  2. Randall L. Nydam: Polyglyphanodontinae Squamata; Teiidae from the Medial and Late Cretaceous; new taxa from Utah, USA and Baja California del Norte, Mexico. In: David D. Gillette: Vertebrate Paleontology in Utah (= Utah Geological Survey. Miscellaneous Publications. 99-1). Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City UT 1999, ISBN 1-55791-634-9 , pp. 303-317, (PDF; 591.97 kB).

Web links

Commons : Track Lizard  - Collection of images, videos and audio files