Article by: Apurv Jadhav

The First Time I Saw Fan Throated Lizard

Being a wildlife enthusiast and living in a developing village have its own benefits as few years ago while I, a 14 year lad was on my summer vacation, one early morning I was heading a nearby playground for playing, something cross passed by my cycle very fast and it caught my attention. I stopped my cycle and looked back.
I saw a lizard but I came too far to observe it properly so I continued to ride my cycle towards playground but the thought of how that lizard might be looking didn’t leave my head. It happened a couple of times that I saw these lizards running alongside and crossing the road. One day out of curiosity I decided to go and find out these lizards and take a closer look at it. Early morning I got ready to play and along with my water bottle and basketball I put my small point and shoot camera as well, as I planned to find these creatures after I’m done playing.  Starting to ride I observed in which areas I have seen them more frequently. I saw a couple of them while going to playground. After playing, my hunt for finding that lizard started. It was around 2:00 in the afternoon when I started to look for them. At that time I never knew that they rest under the rocks and other shady places when the temperature is too high for them.  I rode my cycle twice on the same road but didn’t find any lizard. Still curious and frustrated I didn’t see any single lizard that afternoon.
The other day while on the same road going for playing I saw the lizard again! And I stopped, leaving my cycle on the roadside I walked to the place where it ran. It was a small and very beautiful looking lizard with really detailed patterns on its back like some sort of carpet!
Unfortunately I didn’t carry my camera that day so I couldn’t take any record shots.

Image Credit: Apurv Jadhav

But now I knew that when to and where to find them here after. And as I was about to head back I saw something. It saw a white thing which almost came out making its way from the throat of this lizard and it almost looked like some cartoon animation of some insect-like thing coming out from its throat. I thought it was just my imagination or something as this movement was too fast and I didn’t see it clearly. I knew it was something but I just tried ignoring it. And then it happened again!
At that time I was stunned to see that there’s something that flaps on its throat. I sat down and slowly approached to the lizard without disturbing it. And yet! It did it again!! I was stunned seeing something like this as I never knew this unique but common lizard can do this funky move. At that time I had no access to internet or anything that can give me information about this particular animal but somehow I knew that it was a warning signal kind of thing. When I came back again to take photos of it flapping the thing under its neck I just couldn’t as my point and shoot camera couldn’t take its photos properly from far distance.
It was years after that when I buy my first DSLR camera and borrowed my friends mid range Tele lens I was able to capture this moment. Being totally unknown but interested in nature this particular incident was very unique and unforgettable.

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