Also known as woodlizards, these reptiles look like tiny dragons mostly because of their eye shapes, rows of scales that look like spikes and their patterned skin.
Until now, there were only 12 species of these lizards discovered belonging to the genus Enyalioides, with five of these found in the last seven years.
The three new species were discovered in the forests of Ecuador and Peru at a very high altitude.
The team of scientists who discovered the lizards detailed their findings in the journal ZooKeys.
The new species of lizards were discovered by Omar Torres-Carvajal from the Museo de Zoología QCAZ in Ecuador. He also discovered five of the other species of woodlizards in the past recent years.
Torres-Carvajal explained that the diversity of this species of lizards has been underestimated by the scientists.
Woodlizards usually measure between 2 and 6 inches, which makes them one of the largest species of lizards that live in the Amazonian rainforest. Their skin patterns and colors help them camouflage well into their environment, making them very hard to be discovered.
Each of the newly found species of lizard is different from their relatives in terms of body characteristics, such as size, color and the shape of their scales. Also, the researchers who discovered the dwarf dragon lizards said that they have different mitochondrial DNA.
One of the lizards was named E. sophiarothschildae, after Sophia Rothschild, an important donor for the BIOPAT program in Germany. Those who donate to the BIOPAT program can get to suggest names for animal and plant species that are newly discovered.
The researchers discovered this lizard in the upper basin of the Huallaga River at approximately 4,921 ft in the northern regions of Peru. Its back is green and black with olive specks and it has a white patch on its neck. It also has big scales on its spine.
The second newly found lizard is called E. anisolepis and is 5 inches long, with conical spikes, and black, green and brown colors.
The third species of dwarf dragon lizard is called E. altotambo and was discovered in Alto Tambo, a town in Ecuador. This lizard is bright green and has similar-sized scales on its back.
This lizard resembles another woodlizard called E. oshaughnessyi, which has smaller scales on its back.
Image Source: news.discovery