At first glance he looks like he’s been painted, but no, this rare African lizard really is sporting a Spider-Man suit: and even more bizarrely, he appears to be striking a pose very similar to the superhero’s.

Amazingly, the lizard’s incredibly bright red head and upper torso and blue is not a paint job, and Peter Parker even may have a competitor among the skyscrapers of Manhattan if Spider-Lizard ever makes it to the Big Apple.

The nimble and fierce Mwanza flat-headed rock agama lizard may even give Spidey a run for his money, both in terms of abilities and appearance.

Brazilian tourist Cassio Lopes photographed the lizard while on safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park.

The shy lizard was spotted warming himself in the sun but darted away as soon as Lopes started shooting.

In a long and illustrious career that began in issue 15 of Amazing Fantasy comic almost 50 years ago, the fictional cartoon character Spider-Man has evolved from troubled teenager to animated television star to live-action superhero.

En route Spider-Man has become Marvel Comics flagship character and the nearest thing the publishing powerhouse has to a company mascot.

When Marvel became the first comic book company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1991, the Wall Street Journal announced “Spider-Man is coming to Wall Street”.

In every incarnation, Spidey has boasted super strength and agility, an ability to cling to almost any surface and a mysterious “spidey-sense” that allows him to outwit his foes.

Is it just a coincidence that this picture has emerged just days before The Amazing Spider-Man movie is released worldwide on Wednesday 4 July?

Possibly not, but rest assured, this lizard is no fake. No less an authority than National Geographic magazine have featured the remarkable reptile, a native of Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda, who dines on crickets, locusts and worms, and can grow up to 30cm.