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Alone baby in desert!

Alone baby in desert!
Photo Information
Copyright: Bayram Gocmen (boreocypriensis) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 207 N: 2989] (9571)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-12
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D-80, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, @ ISO 320, SIGMA 62MM EX DG MC UV Filter
Exposure: f/16, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Syrian Herpetofauna, Turkish Herpetofauna, Herpetofauna of the Middle East [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-07-31 10:10
Viewed: 6179
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Laudakia stellio stellio (Spiny Lizard, Starred Agama or Hardun) [in Cyp. Turk. Gurkuda, Turk: Dikenli Keler]

I encountered with this baby Hardun at the morning light while basking on a a big stone of Palmyra ruins. It seems so happy with the early sunlight of the desert:) I also attached a portrait as a WS taken with a high shooter speed and narrow DOF!

TFL and Have a nice Sunday!

©Bayram GÖÇMEN, All Rights Reserved.


Starred Agama is a middle-sized agamid lizard with a moderately depressed body. Total length reaches up to 35 cm, or slightly longer. The flat and triangular head is covered with asymmetrically distributed small scales and plates. Snout is longer than the distance eye-tympanum. Pupils are round. Spiny scales on the neck and sides of the head. The dorsum is covered with small and large scales. Ventral scales are smooth, callous glands, which are present in males, consist of 3-5 rows of modified scales in pre-cloacal position, and an isolated group of scales in the middle of abdomen, near umbilical scar. The tail is moderately depressed in its proximal part; the distal part is rounded or slightly oval in cross-section. The scales of the tail are arranged into distinct circular segments, each consisting of two whorls of enlarged mucronate (spiny) scales. The coloration is extremely variable, depending on race, sex, age and substrate.

Spiny lizard is widely distributed from Greece, Aegean islands, S Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, W Syria, N Iraq, Israel, NW Jordan, to Sinai and northern Egypt. Five subspecies of Laudakia stellio are recognised in addition to the nominotypic form within its wide range. Populations in Turkey belong to the nominotypic subspecies, L. s. stellio (S Turkey except Western parts and S Aegean islands, Syria, W Jordan, Israel and N. Sinai) and to L. s. daani (S Aegean islands and SW Turkey) . Evidently, there are intermediate forms in the contact zones between individual subspecies. Whereas in Cyprus an endemic subspecies, L. s. cypriaca lives. The important diagnostic features of the some races as follow:

L. s. stellio: It is characterized by a narrow mid-dorsal zone of enlarged scales with regular offshoots between the flank scales. These enlarged scales are keeled but not very spinose. Adult animals generally have SVL of 9-12 cm. Length of tail in relation to this length averaging 1.43. Coloration is rather variable. Generally a dark grayish, brownish ground colour of head and body, against which a pattern of 4-5 vertebral patches is outlined. Behind the head, at both sides before the shoulders, sometimes a black collar spot is present. Finger and toes are short. [15-18 subdigital scales under the 3rd finger, 17-23 under 4th toe].

L. s. daani: In Corfu and Sporades islands, and SW Turkey are darker and they have a bluish-grey head and body. The chin shows a clear spotted pattern.

L. s. cypriaca: It is characterized mainly by its long tail [Tail length reported on the snout-vent distance (SVL) ranges from 1.53-1.92, averaging 1.73. In other subspecies, this relation rarely exceeds 1.6.]. Finger and toes are long [19-22 subdigital scales under the 3rd finger, 22-28 under 4th toe]. In the dorsal scale arrangement, Cypriotic Spiny lizard resembles the nominotypic form. The small scales of the chin, especially in the region of the gular fold, are strongly spinose and in elder specimens there is a redish coloration on both head and body.

The other known subspecies L. s. picea from S Syria, N Jordan, & NE Israel; L. s. brachydactyla from S. Israel, SW Jordan, E Sinai & adjacent parts of Saudi Arabia; L. s. vulgaris from N Egypt] are distributed in southern Levantine regions.

During our trip to Syria, we encountered with L. s. picea in Daraa and As Suwayda regions (SW Syria). Differentiation of L. s. picea is based mainly on its unique colour: males are typicaly jet black, often with yellow to orange (sometimes brownish) cross bars on the tail, sometimes with traces of yellow to orange spots on dorsum and toes. Females (and juvenilles) are black, with bright rounded yellow to orange spots on the head and body, those on body are arranged in rather irregular transverse rows. Intermediate colour forms occur in contact zone between L. s. stellio and L. s. picea.

Frequents stone walls, rocky areas and olive groves, can easily climb both on trees and rocks. Feeds mainly on insects (ants and other hymenopterans, orthopterans, mantids, beetles, butterflies, spiders, scorpions, mollusks), but can also ingest some plant material. it is the most commonly encountered reptile species in the close vicinity of human settlements, dense populations occur even in large cities. It is a diurnal, heliophilous lizard. Both males and females form hierarchies and maintain territories. A dominant male perches on the highest point of his territory. Typical display behaviour consists of series of vertical movements of the head and cranial third of the body. The submissive animals reply by flattening of their bodies and pushing the heads towards the surface. This behaviour of females is often accompanied by lateral undulations of the tail. Seasonal activity depends both on the altitude and latitude. A female lays 8-14 eggs.

1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips.
2. Göçmen, B., Tosunoglu, M. & Taskavak, E. (2003). A Taxonomic Comparison of the Hardun, Laudakia stellio (Reptilia, Agamidae), Populations of Southern Turkey (Hatay) and Cyprus. Zoology in the Midle East, 28: 25-32
3. Disi, A. M., Modry, D., Necas, P. & Rifai, L. (2001). Amphibians and Reptiles of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Edition Chimaira, 408 pp.
4. Budak, A. & Göçmen, B. (2005). Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp. [2nd Edition, 2008].
5. Atatür, M. K & Göçmen, B. (2001). Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Cyprus (1st Edition), Ege Üniversitesi, Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 170, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 63 pp.
6. Göçmen, B., Tok, C. V., Kaya, U. & Tosunoglu, M. (1996).A Preliminary Report On the Herpetofauna of Northern Cyprus. Turk. J. Zoology, 20 (suppl.): 161-176..
7. Esterbauer,H. (1985). Zur Herpetofauna Südwestsyriens. Herpetofauna 7 (38): 23-34.

marius-secan, nkasot, haraprasan, bahadir, siggi, uleko, anemone, cirano, MMM, tiborsos, rommel, cypturk, SMYRNA, yasemin, rockisland, montivipera, CeltickRanger, Argus, caspian, Dis. Ac. has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To caspian: :))boreocypriensis 1 08-03 22:06
To ingridshaul: Hi MF:)))boreocypriensis 3 08-01 09:51
To cirano: :))))boreocypriensis 1 07-31 15:12
To CatherineD: Hi MFboreocypriensis 1 07-31 14:54
To uleko: Hiboreocypriensis 1 07-31 14:51
To vanderschelden: haha:)))boreocypriensis 1 07-31 12:05
To cobra112: Hi MFboreocypriensis 2 07-31 11:09
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Bayram
allways a very good picture with super sharpness and many details
great pose and beautiful colours
great shot Bayram
greeting lou

Hello Bayram,
Excellent picture us usual. Razor sharp details, natural colours,
useful photographer's note and perfect focus.
The background and POV are wonderful.

Hocam çölde bebek başlığı çok güzel durmuş. Gayet masum görünüyor. WSdeki kare de süper.
Emeğinize sağlık. Saygılar,

Selam my dear friend,
A very well composed shot of this lonely baby Spiny Lizard. Excellent details with a nice POV. Thanks a lot for sharing. Have a nice Sunday....

strange coloration ,TFS Ori

Ciao Bayram, great capture of wonderful baby with fantastic details, lovely blurry BG, beautiful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao BBB. Another interesting taken in great DOF and superb details. Perfect light's management.


Hocam bebeğin bu kadar güzeli ve masum duruşlusuna vurulmamak mümkünmü? Kendinden geçmiş resmen:) Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık. İyi geceler.


Hello Bayram,
Another after the points image, my friend.(-:
Now, I'm in big trouble.;-)) And haven't been reading Schopenhauer.
No, seriously. Hope you're all right.
And it is a beautiful image of this basking fellow. Plus an amazing animal you spotted in the Palmyra ruins. Well done.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-07-31 11:58]

Hello MF Bayram.
Gorgeous capture of this Spiny Lizard. The colors of the lizard and the soil are amazing. Great details and POV. Well done and TFS.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-07-31 12:28]
  • [+]

Hello Bayram,
What a cute baby Agama warming itself on the rock. I wonder about its age and size? Two fine captures with great focus on the head. Lovely colours and a beautiful soft background.
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

Bayram hocam bebek hali çok daha sevimli imiş:) Uykulu gibi durmuş.
Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık. İyi gecler ve pazarlar hocam.

Dear Bayram,
What a cute baby! He looks so quite and sweet (not yet spiny!). Very dark marks for a Laudakia stellio stellio? Is it an intermediate form? Anyway a great shot of one of my favourite lizards... (In fact, I love all of them!)
Iyi geceler SA,

Bu "daş keleri" yavrusunu (bizim ordaki adı) bütün masumiyetiyle görüntülemişsiniz. Elinize sağlık,

Hi Bayram,

This is another wonderful picture of a lizard.
The detail is excellent and there is a good DOF.
Great capture and TFS


  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-07-31 15:05]
  • [+]

Yalnız ve hüzünlü...Çok yakıcı bir durum.Dostum kompozisyonu çok çok iyi yansıtmışsın,netlik ve harika bir odaklama ile birlikte gerçekten nefis bir sonuç olmuş.Resmen hüzün damlıyor karenden.bence kırmızı nokta benzeri bir işraet koymalısın "yalnızlar seyretmemeli" diye:)
Eline emeğine sağlık.
Bi salvên germ.


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-07-31 16:52]

Hi Bayram
Nice capture sharp image with good detail.I love the look of the eye almust closed
TFS Michel

hello bayram,
nice capture of this reptile which looks so cute, the natural colors look beautiful, fine pov and pleasing composition too,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-08-01 3:12]

Hello Bayram,
Another very special photo. Great sharpness, details and natural colours. Taken from a very good POV. Nice composition and DOF.

this is one of the best captures! amazing... tfs.

Hellow Bayram,
Thanx for your honest critique, I do appreciate it.This is another great close up moment of this baby lizard.Well taken with good clarity on the subject considering it is so camaflauged with its natural surroundings,great take and a nice presentation.

Merhaba dostum, Bayram

You are supposed to be a dry scientist - and to prove everybody wrong - you come up with this softly coloured background surrounded by a colour coordinated baby-frame. The truth is: you a soft hearted romantic :-))

But seriously, there is a special atmosphere emanating from this image: peaceful, happy and relaxed...

You must have been kneeling in front of this little beauty in order to get this eye to eye relation.

Concerning all this ''extra'' skin on the neck, is the animal starting to molt or is it ''spare'' skin i.e. a size bigger for growth?

I often have wondered, why Lizards and Agamas have their ears so low in the face (in line with the mouth), and why the ear has not outer part/protection. Is there a scientific answer, professor?

Thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful time in Syria

İyi bir hafta dilerim

Dayi bu ne kadar guzel bir resim. Tum masumlugu yuzunden okunuyor. Tum bebekler ayni:)
Emegine saglik.

Bunun yavru olduğu gözünden okunuyor kankim. Bonibon gibi duruyor:)
Emeğine sağlık. İyi bir yeni iş haftası diliyorum sana.

Byaram. az kalsin bunu kaciriyordum..ne kadar tatli bir bebek bu:) hayvan insan farketmiyor tum bebeklerin yuzunde ayni masumiyet var..cok guzel cekmissin..eminim etrafta annesi vardir.. eline saglik canim kardesim. Hepimizden selamlar ve sevgiler..

Bayram hocam detayları ve alan derinliği ile nefis olmuş, emeğinize sağlık.
Küçük olduğu yüz ifadesinden belli oluyor :)
Selamlar, sevgiler

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-08-02 1:53]

Merhaba MF Bayram,
such a lovely view with the beauty well seen. I like to see the droopy eye.
The sharpness is so shown. I like the pestel coloured scenery.


Çok sevimli bir bebek hocam. Çok da masum bakmış.
Elinize sağlık.

hello Bayram

the 2 photos are excellent shots of this beautiful baby lizard,
as always with superb focus sharpness and details,
i love the deserts warm luminosity and colour tones, TFS


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-08-02 8:02]

Merhaba Bayram Dostum!
A fine portait of this very juvenile stellio. The features of the head are shown with excellent sharpness and colours from a nice lateral POV against a clean BG.
It is always nice to see what the young of a species look like, especially when one is familiar with the adults.
Thanks and all the best.

Merhaba Bayram hocam,

Çok hoş bir kare.
Nedense zirvedeki okullarına çıkmak için binlerce basamağı tırmanmak zorunda kalan uzakdoğulu bilgeler aklıma geldi:)
Elinize sağlık.

Selam ve saygılarımla,

Minik yavruda mükemmel olmuş hocam,
Ailece bizde hayranlık uyandırıyorlar.
Sizin sayenizde.
tebrikler ve teşekkürler.

Hi little bro,

what a cute one,very good shot with exellent dof.
Fine clours.


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