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Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii (formerly Physignathus lesueurii lesueurii)
A beautiful water dragon I spotted recently, and I'm fairly certain it's an adult male. This is an arboreal agamid species native to eastern and south-eastern Australia, of which there are two sub-species - the eastern water dragon (I. l. lesueurii) and the Gippsland water dragon (I. l. howittii). Water dragons have long powerful limbs and claws for climbing, and are excellent swimmers. Strangely enough, they don't have webbing on their feet, relying instead on their laterally-compressed tail. They can actually stay submerged for up to 90 minutes, particularly if feeling threatened, so they're really well adapted to water environments. Including their tails which comprise about two-thirds of their total length, adult females grow to about 60 cm (2 feet) long, and adult males can grow slightly longer than one metre (3 feet) and weigh about 1 kg. Males show bolder colouration and have larger heads than females. Colour is less distinct in juveniles.
This spotting was by one of the freshwater lakes on the University of Queensland Campus, Brisbane. Recent heavy rains have started to break up a serious algal bloom that has affected water quality during the recent drought https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2019/... I don't know how this bloom will affect the health of resident water dragons at the lakes.
The last two photos show a very young water dragon, and it was no more than 30 cms in length. It's colour and markings provide the perfect camouflage amongst the grass and low foliage. Small juveniles like this fellow are vulnerable to predation by kookaburras, currawongs, butcherbirds, magpies and other carnivorous birds. Snakes also pose a risk, as do adult water dragons which have been observed cannibalising hatchlings and young juveniles in some wild populations.
Spotted on Jan 19, 2020
Submitted on Jan 23, 2020
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