AppearanceThis is a medium-sized lizard with a relatively large head. Its scales are overlapping. The reproductively mature female ranges from 7 to 10 cm snout-to-vent length. One sample of adult males had a mean SVL of 8.68 cm, while another found a mean SVL of 11 to 12 cm.
NamingThe specific name, ''torquatus'', is Latin meaning "adorned with a neck chain or collar".
BehaviorOther aspects of the biology of this species have been well-studied, from the production and morphology of its spermatozoa, to the histology of its liver, kidneys, and red blood cells. An inventory of the parasites inside the bodies of a number of lizards found three nematode species, ''Physaloptera lutzi'', ''Parapharyngodon bainae'', and ''Oswaldofilaria chabaudi'', as well as an unidentified tapeworm and an acanthocephalan.
HabitatThis lizard lives mainly in open habitat types, especially restinga, part of the Atlantic Forest biome. It may occupy disturbed and degraded restinga. It is also known from the Abrolhos Archipelago, indicating that it can colonize offshore islands. It lives in the Cerrado. It may be found in residential areas, where it is adept at climbing the walls of houses. It is mostly ground-dwelling, living in termite nests and on or under rocks and logs. It is associated with many other animals, including giant ameiva, coati, brown capuchin, guira cuckoo, and false coral snake.
ReproductionThe female may lay several eggs at a time, but a clutch of two is common, particularly in coastal areas. Clutch sizes may be larger in other geographical ranges.
FoodThis species is omnivorous, eating invertebrates and plant material. It favors ants, and on plants it prefers the fruits and flowers. It commonly eats the fruit of ''Chomelia obtusa'', higuerón, and smilaxes. It especially favors the fruit of little coca during the summer.
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