Dragons in the Garden

Gardening in the hot Summer weather can spring a few surprises on those who are not paying attention… like the odd reptile sheltering in the weeds.  Luckily for me, it wasn’t a snake.  Also, fortunately, I had come across two Jacky Dragon’s previously – thanks to the cats – so I had already researched them, and knew they were harmless.  Jacky Dragons freeze and try to blend into the background when they are threatened, so it wasn’t until I pulled out a weed, just that bit too close, that it moved.  So did I. Backwards at quite a pace until I had worked out which species was  living in among my geraniums.

The Jacky Dragon was kind enough to freeze for sufficient time to allow me to get the camera from the house and take some photographs. It then fled to a fence, where it hung until I went inside.

A Scaly Head

My first glimpse of the Jacky Dragon was a head and neck peeking out of the weeds.

Escape

As I bent over the lizard, I cast a shadow, triggering it to run for safety.

Jacky Dragon on the fence

The Jacky Dragon seemed content to hang upside down on the fence while I took photographs.

Markings

The skin of the Jacky Dragon is beautifully marked with soft grey, brown and bronze patterns.

Identifying Eardrum

One of the identifying features is a prominent eardrum.

 

My field guide tells me that Jacky Dragons breed in Spring and lay eggs which hatch between November and January.  So, perhaps I should be on the alert for small Jacky Dragons as I garden.   It’s a timely warning to watch out for snakes.  The previous owner mentioned seeing Copperhead snakes here, and they are poisonous.  Give me a Jacky Dragon any time!

 

 

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  One thought on “Dragons in the Garden

  1. 04 December 2013 at 12:23 am

    Doesn’t it have an interesting face? It looks like it could be a thousand years old.

    • 04 December 2013 at 9:04 am

      Yes, they are fascinating. The stillness only adds to the illusion of wisdom – they seem to sit and watch the world. I also like the wide jawline in comparison to the narrowness leading from the front of the top jaw to the top of the skull. This combination gives it a very distinct look. It is actually nice to see one just going about its business rather than dangling from a cat’s mouth. I hasten to add that the cats have not killed any Jacky Dragons. They have caught two and brought them inside alive to show me. We rescued and released both, so I wonder if this is one of the released ones? Who knows! Thanks for commenting Alastair,

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