Ctenophorus decresii Tawny Dragon
near Nelshaby, South Australia, AustraliaOctober 17, 2015
Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii)
My first agamid of South Australia was this mid-sized male Tawny Dragon eyeing me warily from a rock. It didn't let me get any closer before rushing to the back side of the rock and finding a way underneath. This species is one of a group of "rock dragons" for whom this is standard behavior.
Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, South Australia, AustraliaOctober 18, 2015
Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii)
The next day I saw a female (probably gravid) and a more colorful male. The female held her position while I snuck up on her, took photos, and then backed away. The male wasn't so sanguine; it first did some push-ups to try to impress me I guess, and then scrambled away behind the rock. I was more impressed with its pretty colors than with its push-ups, I must say.
Wangara Lookout Trail, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, AustraliaOctober 19, 2015
Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii)
The day after that was a Tawny Dragon bonanza. On a rocky hillside trail, I saw several females and at least a dozen males. The females were better at hiding, because they didn't feel the need to show off their bravado and beautiful colors the way the males did. The first photo above is a female, and the others are males in order of increasing beauty. Note that the second-to-last male has at least three large ticks trying to deplete his masculine glory: one on the chest, one in the ear, and one on the top of the head. It's not easy being a lizard!
Mt. Ohlssen-Bagge, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, AustraliaOctober 21, 2015
Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) Tawny Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii)
A couple of days after that, further north, I found another thriving population of Tawny Dragons on another rocky hillside hike. The first two pictured are females, and the rest are males (but you knew that by now, right?).
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