Dragons are found from Europe, to Africa, Asia, Australia, and the south Pacific. There are some 70 species in Australia, and there is a high diversity in the tropical woodlands of northern Australia. Most dragons have large angular heads, sometimes with flaps, spines or frills. They have long bodies, strong hind legs and long toes, and very long tails. They generally have an upright posture and some species can run quickly on their hindlegs when alarmed.
The largest group of dragons in Australia, most associated with arid areas.
Ctenophorus slateri, 'Slater's Ring-tailed Dragon'.
Ctenophorus caudicinctus, 'Western Ring-tail Dragon'. Found in arid shrublands and sub-tropical woodlands of central west of Australia, mostly around Pilbara region.
Recently some of the species in this genus have been moved around; currently there are two species. They are one of several Australian dragons known as 'Ta-Ta' Lizards because of they way they signal with their forearm, lifting it up as a sign to other dragons.
Lophognathus gilberti, 'Gilberts Ta-Ta Lizard'. This is the common species of 'Ta-Ta' Lizard around the suburbs of Darwin.
Lophognathus horneri, 'Horner's Ta-Ta Lizard'. This species can be distinguished from the former by the white spot in the tympanum.
This family includes the Komodo Dragon. There are species in this family found in tropical Africa and across Asia, however it is in Australia where there is the highest diversity. And within this region, there are more species found in the tropical woodlands than other habitats.
Varanus gouldii, 'Sand Goanna'. One of the most widespread monitors in Australia, found in many open habitats across most of the continent.
There are two species of Water Monitor found in Australia, and they can be found sunning themselves on rocks along the edge of freshwater. They have distinctive laterally compressed tails with a sharp ridge, shaped like a butterfly knife. This reflects their semi-aquatic lifestyle. The two species are 'Mertens Water Monitor' and ' Mitchells Water Monitor'. Based on its larger geographic range, the above image is likely to be the former. The latter species is now rare.
Varanus glauerti, 'Kimberley Rock Monitor'. Striking, with spots on back, stripes along tail. Medium but slight goanna with a 'squashed' flat appearance good for sliding in under rocks. Very long tail. Found around rocky habitats north west and top end of Australia.
Varanus glebopalma, 'Black-palmed Rock Monitor'. Grey-reddish in colour, the long tail is darker upper half and whitish in lower half. The top of the limbs are normally darker with spots; the underside of the limbs are also apparently dark, thus the common name. Found around rocky habitats across northern Australia.
Varanus acnathurus, 'Spiny-tailed Monitor'. Most distinctive feature is rows of spines along tail. Shy, found sheltering around drier rocky habitats across northern Australia.
Varanus barijidi, 'Black-spotted Ridge-tailed Monitor', 'Yellow-throated Monitor'. A 'dwarf' monitor. Like Varanus acnathurus, also has rows of spines along tail. Found in rocky areas in the Northern Territory.
Morethia ruficauda, 'Lined Firetail Skink'. Found across northern Western Australia and Northern Territory.
Known as 'Wall Skinks', 'Fence Skinks', 'Snake-eyed Skinks', 'Shining Skinks', although their genus name translates as 'hidden eyelash'.
Boiga irregularis, 'Brown Tree Snake', 'Night Tiger'.
Dendrelaphis punctulatus, 'Comon Tree Snake'.
Dendrelaphis punctulatus, 'Comon Tree Snake', the 'Golden form'.
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