Also known as Butterfly lizard, Butterfly Runner or Smooth-scaled agama. Several subspecies are known
Daytime 85 to 90°F with a nighttime drop no lower than the mid 70s°F. A hot basking spot is needed at around 95 to 100°F. Provide a warm and a cool side in the enclosure so that they can choose a comfortable temperature at any given time.
Normally low, less than 50%, with higher humidity and misting to simulate the rainy season.
UV light must be provided (10.0 fluorescent) along with a basking light. Use a timer to provide a 12-hour day cycle.
Primarily insectivores but fruits, vegetables and flowers should also be offered. Crickets, mealworms and a variety of other insects are fine as the primary diet. Dead insects may also be consumed.
25% of the diet should be plant matter, but some individuals will refuse to eat any. Fresh mixed veggies with Romaine lettuce, kale, collard and mustard greens (finely chopped) may all be accepted. Favorite veggies are dandelion leaves/flowers and zucchini. As a treat, fruits and berries are generally relished but too much can cause loose stools.
A good vitamin/mineral supplement should be given once or twice a week for adults and more often for young, growing lizards.
Clean water should be available at all times. They prefer to lick up water drops but running water may also stimulate them to drink. A simple water dish may be adequate, especially if an air stone is bubbling in it. Otherwise, mist the tank in one area occasionally.
A 20-gallon long tank with a screen lid is adequate for a pair, a larger tank would be better. Floor space is more important than height. It is best to cover the back and sides to keep them from running into the glass. Set it up as a desert/savanna style habitat with a deep substrate of potting soil or coco-fiber mixed with sand for burrow construction. Keep the lower part somewhat moist but not wet or soggy. Décor, caves and other hiding places should be provided but be careful to place heavy objects in a way that will prevent tunneling cave-in accidents.
Males have more prominent femoral pores on the underside of the thighs and small hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail. They are also more colorful than females.
Butterfly agamas may be monogamous with pairs staying together for life. It is unknown if they will choose another mate if separated from the original one through death or capture for the pet trade.
If you do have a mated pair, courtship begins with the male bobbing his head. If the female is receptive, he will bite and hold her by the neck as he mounts her.
When she begins to look a bit heavier than usual, provide a good-sized nest box with slightly moist substrate to lay the eggs in.