Invertebrates, Frogs & Reptiles
 Desert Shrublands & Grasslands (Mulga & Spinifex)

Class Arachnida

Order Scorpiones

Family Buthidae

The largest family of scorpions. Most species are small and cryptically coloured. They have relatively thick tails and thin tweezer like pincers.

scorpion-nullabor(Nullabor, South Australia)

? Perhaps Isometroides 'Spider-hunting Scorpion'. Common name due to habit of hunting trapdoor spiders, and then living in their burrows. Found in drier woodlands, as well as Mulga and Saltbush, across much of temperate inland Australia. 

Class Insecta

Order Lepidoptera: Moths and Butterflies

(Coober Pedy, South Australia)

Vanessa kershawi, 'Australian Painted Lady'.

Order Hymenoptera: Wasps, Bees and Ants

Iridomyrmex spp. 'Rainbow Ants' including 'Meat Ants'

There are about 80 described species in this genus. They are found in Australasia and Asia, but are best known from the drier parts of Australia. Their genus derives from the iridescent colours on their abdomen.

(Exmouth, WA)

Many Iridomyrmex, including Meat Ants, build slightly raised circular nests on the ground. 

Class Amphibia

Class Anura

Neobatrachus spp. 'Desert Frogs'

(inland of Shark Bay, Western Australia)

There are 9 or so species in this genus. They are round, squat frogs, with pupils that constrict into a vertically. During the dry times they are buried underground; once it starts to rain, they emerge to breed. All the species are endemic to Australia, found across arid areas of the continent, with most species found in south west of Australia.

Class 'Reptilia'

Order Squamata: Lizards & Snakes

There is one group that is very diverse in these arid habitats of Australia - lizards! In fact, there are claims that some of the dry habitats in Australia, such as the Spinifex grasslands, have the highest diversity of lizards in the world. However, this does not mean you will see lots of them; in the winter they may be scarce, and in the summer, they run fast and quickly take shelter inside and under the prickly grasses.

Family Agamidae: Dragons

Many of the dragons of the region seem to have annual cycles, only living for one year.

Ctenophorus caudicinctus, 'Western Ring-tail Dragon'.(Millstream National Park, Western Australia)

Ctenophorus caudicinctus, 'Western Ring-tail Dragon'. Found in arid shrublands and sub-tropical woodlands of central west of Australia, mostly around Pilbara region.

Back to the page for the Australian desert shrublands and grasslands

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