Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii)
Camera" Nikon D5000
This little guy and his family were sunning themselves on the headland near Mooloolaba Beach.
It is an impressive lizard that grows up to 20 cm with a strong long tail that grows 2.5 times the body length.
Males can be distinguished by their larger size and red chest.
The tail is compressed laterally for swimming, a skill is uses to escape threat and/or danger.
The nostrils of the water dragon are specially placed on top of its snout as an adaptation to its aquatic habits.
It is the largest dragon lizard in Australia, growing up to one metre in length (including their long tail).
Found all along the east coast of Australia, normally found around creeks, rivers or lakes.
The water dragon is quite well known, as it is common where it is found and is quite easily seen running from a disturbance towards water.
The lizard can remain submerged for up to 30 minutes and rise to the surface, where it can breathe while checking the area for danger before emerging back onto land.
The eastern water dragon frequents branches overhanging the water, dropping in if disturbed, sometimes from quite a height. It feeds on a variety of insects and aquatic organisms, including frogs, as well as fruits.