Added 28 June 2005.

A look at the Family Agamidae


Chameleon Dragon


The genus Chelosania contains the single species C. brunnea. This is an arboreal lizard found in tropical woodlands in the northernmost parts of Australia. It is a secretive species most usually encountered as it crosses roads [Swann & Wilson]. The common name derives from its appearance, which is somewhat reminiscent of the related chameleons, although it could scarcely be mistaken for one.

Species Name Common Name Distribution Size Notes
C. brunnea  Chameleon Dragon  Australia (West Australia, Northern Territory, extreme NW Queensland) SVL 9-12 cm, tail about 1½x SVL  This species is found on the trunks and limbs of standing or fallen trees but may also be seen on the ground. Body very laterally compressed, limbs short. Dewlap present. Scalation details: canthus curved; nostril lays in enlarged nasal on canthal ridge; granular eyelids with small apertures; ear aperture is a distinct shape, reminiscent of a backward-pointing teardrop, and is surrounded by an outline of slightly raised scales; a series of 4-5 furrows run diagonally backward and upward a short distance from behind the ear. Dorsal scalation: dorsal scales keeled; nuchal crest present, which may be raised in a defensive gesture; joins with low dorsal crest that reaches halfway along tail. Ventral scalation: strongly keeled.Tail: bluntly tipped. Other: no femoral or preanal pores. Coloration: Dorsally overall bright yellow to pale grey; dark brown markings may be present; usually two narrow longitudinal brown bars on nape and scattered dark flecks on head; narrow brown gular lines converge on the chest; ventrally whitish apart from a few grey-brown flecks on the vent; broad dark bands on tail Reproduction: lays 2-3 eggs per clutch.