Dripping Dragons

Reproduction of a small article I wrote for the NatureWatch section of the Summer 2012 edition of Wildlife Australia, the magazine of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland.

Australia is a land blessed with dragons — lizards of the family Agamidae — with at least 75 species, mostly in arid-to-dry tropical areas. Queensland has a great variety of these wonderful reptiles, although only two are found in rainforests.

Boyd's Forest Dragon

Boyd’s Forest Dragon. Photos R. Ashdown

The spectacular Boyd’s Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii) inhabits Queensland’s northern wet tropics. Both temperature and mood influence a male dragon’s features. Warm summers, the time for courtship and mating, bring on displays of their brightest colours and patterns. The female digs a burrow to lay her parchment-shelled eggs.

At the southern end of the State, Australia’s only other rainforest dragon species is also active, in its own cautious, cryptic way. The smaller, similarly camouflaged Southern Angle-headed Dragon (H. spinipes) warms itself in morning patches of sunlight while clinging motionless to saplings and the buttresses of larger trees.

Southern angle-headed dragon, Goomburra NP.

Southern Angle-headed Dragon, Goomburra National Park.

Southern Angle-headed Dragon

Southern Angle-headed Dragon, Goomburra National Park.

 

2 thoughts on “Dripping Dragons

Leave a Reply