New reptile species discovered in China with ‘orange tongue’ and ‘medicinal bodies’ as scientists warn ‘don’t eat them’

A NEW reptile species has been discovered in China and has been called Wang’s garden lizard.

The scientific name for the new species is Calotes wangi.

Huang et al

The creature is called Wang’s garden lizard[/caption]

Huang et al

It’s said to have an orange tongue and some believe it has medicinal properties[/caption]

Wang’s garden lizard is actually a newly discovered type of iguana.

It’s a small creature at just 9cm long and has an orange tongue.

A team of researchers has described the discovery in an article for the journal ZooKeys.

Researcher Yong Huang said: “From 2009 to 2022, we conducted a series of field surveys in South China and collected a number of specimens of the Calotes versicolor species complex, and found that the population of what we thought was Calotes versicolor in South China and Northern Vietnam was a new undescribed species and two subspecies.”

They continued: “Calotes wangi is found in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests and tropical monsoon forests in southern China and northern Vietnam, mostly in mountainous areas, hills and plains on forest edges, arable land, shrub lands, and even urban green belts.

“It is active at the edge of the forest, and when it is in danger, it rushes into bushes or climbs tree trunks to hide.

“Investigations found that the lizards lie on sloping shrub branches at night, sleeping close to the branches.”

The lizard is said to eat spiders and a variety of insects.

Researchers don’t suspect that the species is under threat of extinction.

They did note that sometimes “their bodies are used medicinally and the lizards are also eaten.”

The researchers wrote: “In the field surveys, we found that the populations of C. wangi sp. nov. were relatively large, and the species is not threatened at present.

“However, in some areas, their habitat was being fragmented.”

The experts are now suggesting that governments take measures to protect the lizards to stop them from being eaten and used for medical products.

They also think more attention needs to be paid to the population dynamics of the reptiles.

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