Individuals are largely diurnal, with activity concentrated in the morning and evening, but they rarely engage in intense activity. Indeed, dubbed “the lizard of great sleepiness” by local indigenous people, this species often remains motionless for hours on end (3) (9), and can even submerse itself underwater for long periods of time, reducing its respiratory rate (6) (9). This lizard spends much of its time out of the water perched on rocks or branches above slow-moving streams and ponds, and prefers dense vegetation overhanging waterholes for shade and sleeping sites, but will nevertheless retreat to the water when disturbed (3) (6). Food is also obtained from these pools and streams, with the diet consisting of tadpoles, a variety of insects and a considerable amount of caterpillars, as well as dragonfly larvae, grasshoppers and small fish (3) (6).
This solitary species is usually observed with only one animal per pool (7), but individuals may congregate in winter months before hibernating in rock crevices or tree holes from November to March (3) (7). Breeding takes place in July and August (3), with two to seven live young typically born after a gestation period of around 8 to 12 months (6). Young are immediately very active and begin to feed soon after birth (9), and sexual maturity is thought to be obtained within two to three years (6).