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All male lizards have a skin flap at the base of their
tail, covering what is called the cloaca.
The sexual organs are concealed within the cloaca. They
have paired organs, called hemipenes. They are within
the ventral portion of the tail, covered in sheathes.
A vans deferens connects each testicle to one of the
hemipenes. The lizard’s testicles
are located inside the body.
The vast majority of mammals mount their mate from
behind, which is not true of lizards. It is actually
impossible for a lizard to mount their partner in this
fashion. Male lizards will approach the female from
the side, with many biting the neck of the female, and
try to get their cloaca in a position as close as possible
to the female. At this point, the closest hemipenes
is erected. The hemipenes of many species of lizard
is adorned with thorns or ‘hooks’ of some
kind, securing a hold during mating.
At this point, the sperm will travel through the penis,
along the hemipenes’ channel, to the females cloaca.
Fertilization occurs when the sperm enters the oviducts
of the female. Some species of lizards, as with
Veiled Chameleons, can store the sperm for later fertilization
without the need of a male.
out these pictures of Green
Anoles Mating on a screen enclosure, courtesy of Ed