Chinese dragons

Territorial behaviour in animals arises when animals compete for an area of space that contains valuable resources. In many species, contests begin with an exchange of signals that are often sufficient to resolve the dispute. The Qinghai toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus vlangalii) are dragon lizards from China that compete for ownership of burrows. These resources are so important for survival that females engage in territorial behaviour to the equal of males, which is unusual in lizards and makes this species particularly informative. Burrows are defended using tail displays that presumably encode information about signaller quality, but the details of these relationships are not known for this species, or for dragon species worldwide.