Eastern Water Dragon
Could there really be a dragon living in your backyard? A fire-breathing beast with fearsome teeth and talons?
The Eastern Water Dragon Physignathus lesueurii is not quite as big as the ones we read about in books (it’s a bit over half a metre long), but this beautiful, mysterious creature has rough scales, sharp spines and ancient features that resemble fairytale dragons.
You are lucky to catch a glimpse of the Eastern Water Dragon who is like the mythical beast, seldom seen. Often the only clue to their presence is a splash as they drop into water from an overhanging branch.
As fierce as they may seem, Eastern Water Dragons are shy animals. They are active during both the day and night time when they actively hunt for insects, frogs, yabbies and water insects.
Eastern Water Dragons sometimes eat vegetation, fruit and berries as well. Just like their chameleon relatives of Africa and Madagascar, our dragons also seize food with their tongues.
But unlike their googly-eyed cousins that shoot prey with long-distance, high velocity projectile tongues, dragons dab their food with short, thick tongues. All other Australian lizards use only their jaws to grasp food.
TIPEastern water dragons will live for years in peaceful gardens with a large pond or creek nearby. You can help by protecting native shrubs and trees that overhang creeks near your house, as these provide a home for water dragons.
DID YOU KNOW?Pollution in creeks is bad news for water dragons. So stop garden and household chemicals from washing into waterways.