Discover 13 Lizards With Crests On Their Head (2023)

Every one of us has ever seen a lizard with a crest in our lifetime. The creepy and unusual-looking animal has the potential to freak you out instantly. There are many animals and reptiles found on Earth. There are many lizards found on Earth that have unique body shapes with crests on their body. This feature makes them dominating and fierce.

Here we will specifically talk about lizards with a crest on their body and how they are evolving to keep us more into them. Some lizards with crests are nocturnal and excellent at hunting. Also, many species of lizards are well-known for dropping their tail whenever they feel fear.

Moreover, there is a lot more to explore as every day you can discover a unique species of lizards and classify them based on their characteristics and appearances.

We have seen different kinds of lizards moving here and there in our household; these lizards are smaller yet there are many more lizards with some additional features to fascinate you. 

What Is Crest In Lizard?

In the context of lizards, a crest refers to a ridge or a raised structure found on the head, neck, or back of certain lizard species. Crests can vary in size, shape, and appearance, and they serve different purposes depending on the species.

Crests are often composed of specialized scales, known as cranial or dorsal crests, that are elevated or modified to form a distinctive structure. These crests may have various functions, including display, communication, species recognition, and defense.

For example, some species of iguanas have a prominent crest, called a dewlap, on their throat. The dewlap can be extended or displayed during courtship or territorial displays to attract mates or deter rivals.

The frilled lizard is another well-known example that possesses a large, fan-like crest around its neck. When threatened, the frilled lizard expands its neck and raises the crest, creating a visually intimidating display to ward off predators.

It’s important to note that not all lizards have crests, as they are specific to certain species or groups. And here we are focusing only on the lizards that have crests on their heads.

13 Lizards With Crests On Their Head

1. Frilled-Necked Lizard

Frilled Necked Lizard
Frilled Necked Lizard
Scientific Name Chlamydosaurus Kingii
Size 90 cm
Color Red, Orange, Yello, and White
Location Northern Australia

Frilled Lizards are a type of lizard that is commonly found in Australia. This unique species of crested lizards are well-known for their frilled neckline which makes them easily spottable.

Like every other reptile, they are warm-blooded and love to stay in dry forests and semi-arid woodlands.

2. Crested Gecko

Crested Gecko
Crested Gecko
Scientific Name Correlophus Ciliatus
Size 20 cm
Color Orange and Brown
Location Caledonia

An arboreal species of lizards that are known for their cute appearance and colorful body. This species of lizards are known for their ability to jump long distances from one place to another.

They are low-maintenance species of lizards that are well-suited to be kept as pets. They have a horizontal crest on their head. 

3. Basilisk Lizard

Basilisk Lizard
Basilisk Lizard
Scientific Name Basiliscus basiliscus
Size 90 cm
Color Green and blue
Location Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama

Basilisk Lizards are one of the most terrifying yet unique species of crested lizards found. They belong to the family of Corytophanidae which has a unique plumed crested structure present all over their body.

They are native to Central America and South American area, and Mexico. The plumed crest on their back gives these species the ability to run and grows well in water.

4. Chinese Water Dragon

Chinese Water Dragon
Chinese Water Dragon
Scientific Name Physignathus Cocincinus
Size Up to 90 cm
Color Brown, Green, and White
Location Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and China

Chinese water dragons are lizards that are native to China and some parts of Asia with a nuchal crest along with a sagittal crest on their body.

These Asian water dragons appear in different shades of green. This species can not adjust in any kind of captivity as they have some specific requirements. 

5. Sailfin Lizard

Sailfin Lizard
Sailfin Lizard
Scientific Name Hydrosaurus Pustulatus
Size 60.9- 91.44 cm
Color Neon Purple, Cyan, and Gray
Location Philippine Islands

Another unique lizard has made its name on the list of lizards with a unique dorsal crest on their head. Their body coloration and design make them different in every way.

Apart from the crest on their head, you will be amazed by seeing their fatty crested tail and back.

6. Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Scientific Name Moloch Horridus
Size 20 cm
Color Grey, Red, Orange, and Yellow
Location Western Australia

By hearing its name, you have already got some hints about its appearance. Thorny Devil is a species of lizard that is fully covered with spikes and thorns all over its body.

This unique species of lizard has spikey crests present on its head till its tail. They are active throughout the day and grow up to 20 cm. They are well-known for their camouflage ability in different shades of brown.

7. Mountain Horned Dragon

Mountain Horned Lizard
Mountain Horned Dragon
Scientific Name Acanthosaura Capra
Size 19-38 cm
Color Grey, Brow with spots of red, orange, and yellow
Location Southeast Asia

Amongst the commonly found species of lizards, mountain-horned dragons are not much behind. This amazing colorful species of lizard has uniformly distributed crests on its back covered with spikes on its head and back.

The coarse skin of this lizard makes it noticeable. However, they are calm and non-harming lizards until provoked.

8. Casque-Headed Iguana

Scientific Name Corytophanes Cristatus
Size 70 cm
Color Green and Yellow
Location Central America

Another species of lizard that carries a crest on its head here is Casque headed Iguana in green color with a unique appearance.

This species of lizard carries a cone-shaped crest with a unique pattern commonly found in Central America. They are harmless to humans but can attack you if you provoke them.

The fear of them is intact in our minds. Casque-Headed iguana, also known as smooth-helmeted iguana shows a unique crests shape that tapers to a toothed ridge down on the back.

The spikes on their head and back with a triangular-shaped crest makes them terrifying yet dangerous. However, they are harmless to humans but you need to take care of yourselves.

9. Plumed Basilisk

Plumed Basilisk
Plumed Basilisk
Scientific Name Basiliscus Plumifrons
Size Up to 91 cm
Color Green
Location Honduras and Panamas

You will surely be fantasized about seeing this amazing creature, here is Plumed Basilisk lizard commonly found in Central America.

This species of lizard is commonly seen in Green colored with hues of blue and white. They have a vertebral crest on their back includes a dorsal crest, tail crest, crown on the head, and one part between their eyes.

10. Malaysian Horned Wood Lizard

Malaysian Horned Wood Lizard
Malaysian Horned Wood Lizard
Scientific Name Acanthosaura Titiwansaensis
Size 30 cm to 37 cm
Color Green, Black, and Brown
Location Malaysia

Malaysian Horned Wood Lizard is completely an unusual species of lizard with crests that shows green and yellow body coloration in light.

Their crested head and fluffy face make them look aggressive and terrifying. Although, they are not aggressive to humans but can harm you well. This species is amongst the best lizards with crests you can ever discover.

11. Dalmatian Crested Gecko

Scientific Name Correlophus Ciliatus
Size 17.78- 22 cm
Color White, Brown, Red, Cream
Location France

Like a body pattern of a Dalmatian dog, this species also possesses the same appearance. Dalmatian crested gecko has wedge-shaped head with a crest that covers their upper body till their tail.

This species of lizards in black and white color make good pets as they are low maintenance and unique. Also, they can be easily held by humans without hurting them.

12. Spiny-Tailed Iguana

Scientific Name Ctenosaura Pectinata
Size Up to 46 cm
Color Yellow, Orange, Black
Location Mexico and Panama

Iguanas belong to a category of lizards that are known for their spiny back with crested heads. Their unique body coloration and crests shape is something you can never ignore.

They are native to hot and dry areas in America and Mexico. These species have crests of long spines that start from below their neck till their tail.

13. Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinoceros Iguana
Rhinoceros Iguana
Scientific Name Cyclura Cornuta
Size Up to 120cm
Color Grey and Brown
Location Hispaniola, Haiti, and Dominican Republic

Can you imagine a rhinoceros in the body of an iguana, if you can’t imagine it? Rhinoceros Iguana is a perfect species that depicts the perfect body design of a rhinoceros with the iguana.

The harsh body coat of unusual grey color with streamlined-shaped crests on their body makes them unique amongst every lizard. The crests on their body are something that will drag your mind towards it.


There is a plethora of lizards with crests on their head with unique body types. These lizards are not only fierce to look at but can cause harm to you if you provoke them.

You will see their unusual appearance, body designs, and color. However, some of these species are the perfect pet you were looking for among reptiles. In this article, we have covered every lizard showcasing their crest on their heads on this earth.

The thorough research has landed us on these species which you will find fascinating with unique crest covering their body. Moreover, it is a must for everyone to take care of themselves before getting an encounter with them. This is because these species can be harmful to you.

If you are planning to get anyone of them to your house, make sure to do proper research. We hope that you like this article. We will be back with another interesting article. Till then, stay tuned with us.

Also Read: