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About Deviant Official Beta Tester DavidMale/United Kingdom Groups :iconinfrared-club: Infrared-Club
Extra-Visible Imaging
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Bearded Dragon Close-Up by Okavanga Bearded Dragon Close-Up :iconokavanga:Okavanga 34 14 Bearded Dragon by Okavanga Bearded Dragon :iconokavanga:Okavanga 26 16 Dragon 2 by Okavanga Dragon 2 :iconokavanga:Okavanga 20 3 Eastern Bearded Dragon by Okavanga Eastern Bearded Dragon :iconokavanga:Okavanga 18 3 Sand Goanna Close-Up by Okavanga Sand Goanna Close-Up :iconokavanga:Okavanga 17 0 Sand Goanna On The Move by Okavanga Sand Goanna On The Move :iconokavanga:Okavanga 96 29 Shingleback Lizard by Okavanga Shingleback Lizard :iconokavanga:Okavanga 33 8 Common Skink by Okavanga Common Skink :iconokavanga:Okavanga 16 0 Kangaroo Island Seascape by Okavanga Kangaroo Island Seascape :iconokavanga:Okavanga 42 6 Encounter Bay Seascape by Okavanga Encounter Bay Seascape :iconokavanga:Okavanga 49 20 Lake Sturt Sunset by Okavanga Lake Sturt Sunset :iconokavanga:Okavanga 69 22 Lake Sturt Skyscape by Okavanga Lake Sturt Skyscape :iconokavanga:Okavanga 36 9 Sunrise, Barossa Valley by Okavanga Sunrise, Barossa Valley :iconokavanga:Okavanga 35 14 Sunrise Sprinkle by Okavanga Sunrise Sprinkle :iconokavanga:Okavanga 18 8 Rawnsley Bluff by Okavanga Rawnsley Bluff :iconokavanga:Okavanga 30 25 Chace Range Sunset by Okavanga Chace Range Sunset :iconokavanga:Okavanga 27 14

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Lizards R Us!

Journal Entry: Tue May 23, 2017, 5:34 AM
You'll be pleased to know that there are only 5 types of lizard in Australia. True, each type has several species within it, but five types are easy to remember: skinks, dragons (yes, dragons), monitors (aka goannas), geckos, and legless lizards. Easy or what? Easier still is that I didn't get to see any of the legless variety, nor any geckos. So, only three types to show you.

First off is possibly a tree skink (Egernia striolata) or a Carnaby Wall skink (Cryptoblepahrus carnabyi). As usual my identifications are always tentative and I'm happy to be corrected. Skinks like this are lovely little creatures, found in many places world-wide. Many thanks to Rachel Feytoh on this. They are the friend of the outback traveller as they are insectivorous and hide out in tents and cabins where they dispose of all sorts of bugs. Once you get used to the scuttling sound as they run over the canvas or along a wooden wall you'll be fine with them. Geckos and some dragons fulfill a similar role. Skinks also scoff vegetables, fruit and leaves, and this fellow was helping us eat a carrot during a picnic. This species of skink is about 20 cm long, and can vanish in the blink of an eye if startled.

Common Skink by Okavanga

My next encounter was with what is commonly known as a shingleback lizard (Tiliqua rugosa). Curiously given the heavy "armour plating" and size of about 40 centimeters this lizard also belongs to the skink family. Unlike the fellow above, shinglebacks are very slow and ponderous creatures. They share a curious anatomical feature with some other larger skinks in that they have blue tongues. Unfortunately, this one never opened its mouth over the ten minutes or so that we observed him. While quite harmless to humans, shinglebacks are omnivorous and their jaws are capable of cracking open eggs, snails, and beetles. Apparently, they are popular pets!

Shingleback Lizard by Okavanga

In a different league entirely is the sand goanna (Varanus gouldii), a member of the monitor family of lizards. Monitors are found in Africa and Asia as well as Australia, and the larger species including the sand goanna are capable of inflicting severe wounds by tooth and claw upon humans if cornered. Sand goannas grow to about 1.4 m in length and can weigh up to 6 kg. They are fast, agile, excellent tree climbers, prodigious hole diggers, fearless, and apparently immune to snake venom. They are carnivores and their diet includes small mammals, other lizards, crocodile eggs if they can find them, birds, snakes and carrion. Although we did not get the chance to see it, monitor lizards including the sand goanna have forked tongues, like snakes.

Sand Goanna On The Move by Okavanga

Sand Goanna Close-Up by Okavanga

We also came across some dragons. Contrary to popular myth dragons are real, just not quite like Smaug or the Welsh Flag variety. I think the following two shots are of a species of dragon, possibly male and female, but I'm not sure which. Any help would be appreciated. There appear to be about 30 different species of dragon in Australia, and identification can be quite tricky. The first below is thought to be an Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata), and the second possible a juvenile of the same species.

Dragon 1 by Okavanga

Dragon 2 by Okavanga

These last two shots, taken in the Flinders Ranges, are a crested bicycle dragon (Ctenophorus cristatus). I am happy to be corrected on this by Rachel Feytoh, and my original attribution was based on a book found in the cabin where we were staying, and on seeing a marvelous neck crest when I first spotted this lizard in the scrub outside the cabin. Needless to say, once I had my camera in hand, the crest disappeared never to be seen again. However, the lizard sat on this dead branch or its immediate surrounding for a couple of hours, occasionally catching an unwary insect flying or crawling by. The dragon seemed to be aware of me as I moved  around taking shots, but was quite unconcerned. As with skinks and geckos, dragons such as these are beneficial to campers as they are excellent bug destroying agents.

Crested Dragon by Okavanga

The close-up shows a nostril, an eye, the ear cavity (dark area bottom right) and what appears to be spiky skin, particularly on the bottom right. It is this skin that appears to be part of the crest (or beard?) that appears when the lizard is aroused. Anyone interested in these wonderful creatures can check out this link ==>…

Crested Dragon Close-Up by Okavanga

I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the world of the Australian lizard.


David aka Okavanga :iconokavanga:

Update 24th May 2017.

Thanks to Rachel Feytoh I have been able to include the correct names for previously unidentified species. Many thanks indeed Rachel.

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast modified by Okavanga

Journal History


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I have opened this donation pool for contributions to maintain the Super Group status of the Infrared-Club (Extra-Visible Imaging). Any amount of points would be much appreciated. In return you will receive a mention on the Group's Home Page, on this page, and faves of your work to be displayed on this page. Extra large donations will receive a feature on the Group's Home Page.

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Rowan1968 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for the favs David thank u Fav thank u 
Okavanga Featured By Owner 5 hours ago
No probs!
thewolfcreek Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much David for the fav...
Okavanga Featured By Owner 2 days ago
No probs.
MaresaSinclair Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Thank you for the favourite David.  Much appreciated.
Okavanga Featured By Owner 2 days ago
My pleasure.
thewolfcreek Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much for the fav David...
Okavanga Featured By Owner 2 days ago
thewolfcreek Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fav David...appreciated...
Okavanga Featured By Owner 3 days ago
No probs.
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