The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis), also known as South Indian Rock Agama is a common species of Agama found in the rocky hills of South India. This species seems to replace the Skinks that are found further down south.
It has a large head that is elongate and depressed with the cheeks swollen in adult males.The male has pale brownish on the top of the head and back while the lips are yellowish-brown and this extends as a strip beyond the ear. A dark brown or black lateral stripe begins behind the eye and broadens to cover the lower sides. The underside is yellow with the throat mottled with grey. The male in the breeding season assumes bright colours. The upper parts become fine vermilion red or yellow, the lip-stripe sometimes pink. The under surfaces, limbs and tail are black as seen in these images.
Young and females are olive-brown, spotted, speckled or marbled with dark brown, and with a series of white elongated spots along each side of the back. Females are smaller.
These lizards basks on bare rocks where they are hidden by their cryptic colouration. The species exhibits a clear sex-specific niche separation. Males bask openly on exposed rocks and show head push up displays. The larger males take up higher perch positions. They flatten their bodies when birds fly overhead. Females are generally found at lower heights or on ground.The daily activity pattern of the lizards of both sexes typically involves basking in the morning hours followed by other activities such as foraging, moving, and searching for mates and oviposition sites (during breeding season).