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'Sun Worshipper' by salsbells69

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Gippsland Water Dragon – Physignathus lesueurii howittii.
Croajingolong National Park February 2010. Differs slightly to the Eastern Water Dragon which has the black band running from Ear to Eye. Thanks to my FB Neil Swenser for removing a small blade of grass out of the image which he looked like he was praying to!

Description
The Gippsland Water Dragon is a large lizard. It is grey-green and brown with black banding on back and a row of spines from the crest of the head to the tail. The chest is olive green. Males often have patches or stripes of orange, blue and yellow on chest. It is a good swimmer and dives into the water when disturbed. It can remain submerged for around half an hour.

Size
Total length up to 80 cm including tail. Head and body length 20-25cm.

Habitat
Near creeks, river and lakes in forests, woodlands, grasslands and also parkland in urban areas. Usually seen on rocks logs or overhanging branches.

Food
insects, molluscs and crustaceans as well as small vertebrates including fish, hatchling tortoises and small mammals. Also eats fruit and berries.

Breeding
Clutches of 6-18 eggs are laid in burrows. The female digs a shallow nest about 10-15cm deep in a sunny open position in a sandy soil. The female lies above the burrow and deposits the eggs into the chamber below. She then back-fills the burrow by scraping the soil with her back legs and then packing it down with her snout. Loose debris is then scattered over the nest area.

Range
eastern Victoria and far south-eastern NSW

Notes
The Gippsland Water Dragon and Eastern Water Dragon are sub-species of the same species. The Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii lesueurii) has a dark stripe from ear to eye, that the Gippsland Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii howittii) lacks. The Eastern Water Dragon male has a red flush on its chest and darker bands. The Gippsland Water Dragon male has an olive-grey chest, with patches or stripes of orange, blue and yellow.

Classification
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata (Sauria)
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Physignathus
Species: lesueurii howittii
Common Name: Gippsland Water Dragon

Relatives in same Genus
Eastern Water Dragon (P. lesueurii lesueurii)
Source

Comments

  • Phil Threlfall
    Phil Threlfallalmost 5 years ago

    beautiful shot Sal…. wow look at the detail

  • Thank you Phil :))

    – salsbells69

  • linaji
    linajialmost 5 years ago

    Sal this is an exquisite shot! He looks amazing in this light

  • Hello Ms Linaji! Thankyou very much :)))

    – salsbells69

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaalmost 5 years ago

    great work!

  • Youre a gem Scott. Thankyou :D

    – salsbells69

  • banrai
    banraialmost 5 years ago

    great shot

  • Thankyou Banrai! :))

    – salsbells69

  • Keith Irving
    Keith Irvingalmost 5 years ago

    WOW!!…. perfect lighting, perfect focus and perfect subject…… well done Sals

  • Thankyou very much Keith :))

    – salsbells69

  • Sue  Fellows
    Sue Fellowsalmost 5 years ago

    Stunning capture and detail!!…. :-))

  • Thankyou very much Sue :))

    – salsbells69

  • pryere
    pryerealmost 5 years ago

    Superb.

  • Thankyou John. Great to see you :))

    – salsbells69

  • Neil Swenser
    Neil Swenseralmost 5 years ago

    So this is the prawn chaser, sorry I missed him, beautiful shot Sal.

  • Thanks FB. He preferred the dandelion flowers though..! You would have loved him :))

    – salsbells69

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...almost 5 years ago

    fantastic capture…………what wonderful colors…………and yes he is quite the poser……..

  • Thankyou Kj :))

    – salsbells69

  • raymondoantonio
    raymondoantonioalmost 5 years ago

    BRILLIANT SHOT!! HE OR SHE IS SMILING!! POSER!! BELLISSIMO!! X

  • Thankyou Raymond! Glad you like him!

    – salsbells69

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