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WALLACEAN Tropical & Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forest

The reptiles of the tropical dry forests of Wallacea include the largest of all land reptiles...

Squamata: Lizards and Snakes

Family Gekkonidae

Gekko gecko, 'Tokay Gecko'; Large gecko. (Satonda, Indonesia). The scientific name and most of the common names are onomatopoeic, and variations on describing the loud double call. U.S.A soldiers in Vietnam called it the 'fuck-you' lizard. Very widespread; from India, across Indonesia, to New Guinea.

Family Agamidae: Dragons

Draco, 'Gliding Lizard'.

Family Varanidae: Monitor Lizards

Like snakes, Komodo Dragons (and other monitors) have a forked tongue. This allows the animal to find what direction their prey is when they 'taste' the air.

Varanus komodoensis, 'Komodo Dragon' (Komodo Island, Indonesia). The largest lizard in the world, and the largest land reptile in the world.

Komodo Dragons fighting and biting (image by Damon Ramsey)(Rinca, Indonesia)

Two male Komodo Dragons in combat.

Komodo Dragons fighting and drooling (image by Damon Ramsey)(Rinca, Indonesia)

It was once thought that the saliva of Komodo Dragons was full of dangerous bacteria that helped infect and bring down prey; this has now been observed not to be true. However, recent studies suggest Komodo dragons (and a few other large monitors) may have mildly venomous bites. 

Back to the page on Wallacean Dry Forests & Woodlands

Throughout the virus I am working in Australia on and off as local borders close, mostly in the Kimberley with Coral Expeditions (May-September). If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.