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Exotic Lizards
 
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Exotic lizards at the Reptile Park
 
 

 

Family Scincidae- skinks
Shingleback skinkTrachydosaurus rugosus 
Blue-tongue skinkTiliqua scincoides
Cunninghams skinkEgernia cunninghamii
Family Chamaeleonidae - chameleons
Jacksons chameleon Chamaeleo jacksonii
Family Geckonidae - geckos 
House gecko Gecko monarchus
Leopard geckoEublepharis macularus
Day gecko Phelsuma madagascarensis
Family Agamidae - dragons
Eastern water dragon Physignathus lesueurii
Eastern bearded dragonPogona barbatus


Eastern Water Dragon  Physignathus lesueurii  Coming from the Eastern side of Australia this agamid lizard is semi-aquatic and will bask on branches that overhang rivers. If threatened it will drop into the water and may stay under for a while. It will eat some vegetable matter but in the main its diet is made up of insects, frogs and other small vertebrates. Clutches, usually two per season, of up to ten soft-shelled eggs are buried in the ground and left to hatch. Under ideal conditions it takes three to four years for the young to reach sexual maturity. Males grow to about 80 cms long and in the breeding season some display a reddish flush to throat and chest.  156
 

 

Eastern Water Dragon  Physignathus lesueurii from East Australia


Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbatus  Also from Eastern Australia but extending further inland than the Water Dragon. It prefers relatively dry areas and is often found basking on tree stumps and fence posts. When basking they can flatten their bodies to increase the surface area as well as aligning it at right angles to the sun for maximum absorption.   They eat insects, other small lizards and vertebrates also flowers [dandelion flowers are relished] and soft leaves. They  lay clutches of up to fifteen soft-shelled eggs which take about 60 days to hatch and the young should be sexally mature in their second year.  1174

 

Juvenile-age 4 monthsthreat posture with open mouth and beard extended
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Shingle Back Skink  Trachydosaurus rugosus  Also known as Stumpy-tail or Pine cone this strange looking skink is common in the Southern half of Australia. It is diurnal and rather slow moving spending much of its time semi buried under leaf litter or fallen timber. Their tail is used as a food store as in most lizards and is such that it gives the impression that the lizard has a head at both ends leading to the supposition that it is to confuse predators. However when threatened it opens its mouth and displays a vivid blue tongue to startle its attacker, thus determining the head. Having short legs and living in litter it is probably more practical to have a short tail than drag a long one through the leaves.   The diet is varied consisting of insects, snails and plant matter such as flowers and fruit. Livebearing, the female produces a litter of one to three large young. It would appear that they pair bond and do not mate indiscriminately outside the pair.11126

 



Blue-tongue Skink  Tiliqua scincoides   From Eastern and Northern Australia this diurnal skink has a wide variety of habitats from forests to woodlands and grasslands.  Its diet is similar to the Shingleback and it is also livebearing but can have litters of up to twenty five young ones.
 

 

Head showing blue tongue that gives the animal its name
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Cunninghams Skink  Egernia cunninghami  This diurnal skink lives in rocky areas of South East Australia where it can shelter in crevices or under fallen rocks. Its diet is varied, comprising fruits and flowering seed heads as well as insects and small vertebrates. The females produce a single litter of up to six live young annually. These lizards hide in places that are reasonably tight and if disturbed will inflate thier bodies slightly coupled  with the grip provided by the small spines on the end of its scales are very difficult to dislodge.
 

 

The spiny scales grip the sides of the crevice making it hard for a predator to pull the skink out.


Jacksons Chameleon  Chamaeleo jacksoni  Naturally occurring in the forests of the mountains of East Africa these chameleons have also been accidentally introduced into Hawaii. They are superbly adapted to life in the trees having a very strong pincer type grip with their feet. This is made possible by having most of the toes fused together, on the front legs the fusing is between the outer two and the inner three, while the opposite is the case for the back legs. These groups of toes can be opposed giving the chameleon a very strong grip which is also aided by the prehensile tail. Their cryptic colouring and slow rocking motion when moving blend in very well with the surrounding leaves making them hard to detect, while their protuding eyes can be revolved in opposite directions giving them the ability to see all around without moving. Their ability to change colour is more a signal as to the state of the animal than a means of camoflage.  They feed on insects, captured by means of their long sticky tongue which can be extended to more than the total body length if necessary. Most chameleons lay eggs but Jacksons produce live youngsters which can be in broods of up to forty a time. 1168a
 

 

Note prehensile tail and turning eye of this male chameleon Females do not have horns

 

juveniles one month old


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Giant Day Gecko   Phelsuma madagascariensis   These diurnal geckos come  from Madagascar living in the trees of the forest. They have well developed adhesive foot pads which enables them run up vertical, and even upside down surfaces with ease. Their diet is mainly insects etc. but will also include sweet fruit. The female lays two hard shelled eggs several times a year leaving them in convenient hole in a branch or similar. 240

 



Leopard Gecko   Eublepharis macularius    The natural range of these geckos is from Turkey through to North Western India. They are ground dwelling and prefer rocky areas that are not too arid. They do not have adhesive pads on their feet and unlike New Zealand geckos have moveable eyelids. Two soft shelled eggs are laid in the ground usually under a stone several times a season.  Although basically nocturnal they can also be quite active in the daytime feeding on insects etc.  277

 

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House Geckos  There are several species of nocturnal tropical geckos that tend to live in or in close proximity to human dwellings catching the various insects that are attracted by the lights. They all have well developed adhesive foot pads and can run across the walls and ceilings with ease.
 

 

Spotted house gecko  Gecko monarchus Northern dtella  gehyra australis

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