ANIMAL:Australian Water Dragon Intellagama lesuerii
Type of Animal:
Coastal watercourses, creeks/rivers/lakes/other flowing water w/ overhanging branches and/or nearby rocks in open/filtered sun as well as tree cover, moist forests (especially those near creeks/rivers/lakes/other waterways), urban areas, alpine streams
E Australia. Introduced on SE coast of South Australia.
Light greenish gray w/ black bands running across back/tail/legs-Eastern subspecies has white/yellow/red on throat w/ dark band behind eye, Gippsland subspecies greener w/ dark bands on sides of throat, blotched w/ yellow, orange, or blue, Gippsland subspecies smaller, long laterally compressed tail, males bolder in color w/ larger heads & more prominent cresting
Insects, insect larvae, grubs, spiders, worms, small reptiles (including young of own species), frogs, small mammals, mollusks, fruit, vegetation, leafy greens, fish, berries, flowers, vegetables, flowers, yabbies, crabs, algae
Status in Wild:
Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture
Colonies consist of dominant male w/ harem of 5-10 females. Juveniles form own groups, ranging from 6-180 lizards. Nonbreeding adult males solitary. Some colonies have a few subordinate nonbreeding males.
Male: 1.124-2.2 lbs
Female: 1.08 lbs
Young: 1.2 oz
3 monthsLife Span:
20 years in wild, 25-28 years in captivity
Male: 2.3 ft
Female: 2 ft
Young: 3.98 in
Male: 1.53 ft
Female: 1.3 ft
Young: 2.653 in
Main predators of adults are snakes, predatory birds, cats, dogs, foxes, small predatory mammals, monitor lizards, & shortfin eels. Adult water dragons eat young.
Dominant males highly territorial, often posturing at, chasing, & fighting intruding males. Males stand on hind legs in attempt to push rival over on back.
Tail designed to help them swim. Besides being great swimmers, they’re fast runners & excellent climbers.
Sexually mature at a year old.
Australia’s largest agamid lizard.
Females lay clutches of 6-18 eggs.
Fairly shy in many areas but relatively unafraid of people in urban areas.
Usually pee/poop in water & sometimes eat underwater.
Incubation temp determines sex-temps at/above 82.4 & at/below 78.8 F result in females. Temps in between 78.8 & 82.4 usually produce males.
They can stay underwater for up to an hour & a half, especially if escaping from predators.
They can change skin color to aid in camouflage.
Sometimes seen arm-waving & head-bobbing-males often head-bob as way to show dominance to other males as well as females. Both sexes armwave-fast armwaves signal dominance, slow armwaves signal submission.