Frilled Lizard

A Frilled Lizard climbing a tree

Image courtesy of Thomas Rowland

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Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii

Size: Snout-Vent Length 275mm; Total Length 890mm

What does it look like?

The Frilled Lizard is unmistakable, with large, extendable, grey, red or orange frill that is folded along neck when at rest. Brown to orange-brown or blackish-grey above, with darker brown markings on back and sides, and generally paler or blackish below. Tail long and whip-like, often with blackish tip. 

Where is it found?

Northern and eastern Australia, from Kimberley region WA, through northern NT, to northern and eastern Qld. 

What are its habitats & habits?

The Frilled Lizard occurs in wooded environments, including dry forests, grassy woodland and monsoonal woodland, where it is mainly arboreal, perching on trunks and branches of trees. Feeds on invertebrates and their larvae, including ants, cicadas and spiders, as well as small lizards, mammals and some plant matter.

Oviparous, laying 1–2 clutches of about 12 soft-shelled eggs each year.

If startled, either runs away on its hindlegs, or expands its large frill and hisses with its mouth wide open.

Alternative names

Frill-necked Lizard; Frilled Neck Lizard; Frilled Dragon

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This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia

A Naturalist's Guide to the Reptiles of Australia (2nd Edition) cover

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