Mating Behaviour of Indian Wall Lizard Hemidactylus Flaviviridis (Ruppell)


The Indian wall lizard Hemidactylus flaviviridis (Rupell) is a common Indian lizard having reported breeding season of March to June. The lizards, unlike mammals, donot mate from back, as it is not possible for most lizards, having hard, spiny scales on back. Rather, the male lizard approaches the female from the side, with slight biting on the neck of the female, and tries to get the cloaca of female in a position as close as possible. The male lizard has paired copulatory organs, called hemipenes. They are within the ventral portion of the tail, covered in sheathes. A vas deferens connects each testicle to one of the hemipenes. The lizard’s testicles are located inside the body. During mating, the hemipenis closer to female is erected. The hemipenes of many species of lizard is adorned with thorns or ‘hooks’ of some kind, securing a hold during mating. The sexual organs are concealed within the cloaca in lizards (Simms, 2006).


The Indian wall lizard Hemidactylus flaviviridis (Ruppell) was observed during mating. The observation was done at Jharkhand state of India by the author at 3:50pm in April 2008. The photography was done by using Canon A-10 digicam.


The male was found to chase the female for 3 days prior mating and in response, the female became annoyed and driven out the male. The mating could be divided into three consecutive phases; pre-coital phase, coital phase and post-coital phase.

The pre-coital phase lasted for 15-20 minutes. During this phase, the male started shaking its body and the female stopped moving anymore. After 5 minutes, it started moving gradually towards the female. In response, the female also started shaking its tail first, and then shaked the upper half of body, i.e., the head, neck and upper abdominal region. The male, on reaching the female, started biting the left side of the tail and gradually moved upwards. When it reached the side of head, it started biting the mandible of female and repeatedly raise its right hindlimb to get a hold of female, near the tail base. Then suddenly it jumped from left to right side of the female and took a position in twisted manner.

The coital phase started with insertion of hemipenis to the cloaca of female. This phase lasted for 10-12 minutes. Both the lizards were found to be motionless at this phase. As the coital phase was over, suddenly, they became untwisted with a noticeable jerk.

At the post coital phase, the lizards became untwisted, but were still in close contact with inserted hemipenis clearly visible to the spectator. At this stage they appeared in a shape of “Y”. They remained in this posture for 7-10 seconds. After that, they got separated completely. Then the male suddenly got aggravated and driven out the female.


1. Simms, Alex “Lizard Breeding – Courting/Mating.” Lizard Breeding – Courting/Mating. 5 Jan. 2006. 20 Jun 2008

Source by Ranjeeta Chatterjee