Frilled lizards live in forests in Australia's hot north.
They are covered with scales.
They eat insects and spiders.
They have a neck frill they open when they need to look fierce.
Frilled lizards are also called frill-neck lizards or frilled dragons. They belong to the family of lizards called 'dragons'. Lizards are reptiles.
Habitat and Distribution
(where they are found)
Frilled lizards live in dry forests and woodland, in the northern and north-western parts of Australia. They are often seen in trees, moving easily between branches.
Appearance and Behaviours
A frilled lizard can be up to 95 centimetres long. Its colour matches the colour of the land and the trees it lives on. This is called camouflage.
Male frilled lizards are more brightly coloured than
females. Like other reptiles, the frilled lizard is active during the day, relying on the sun to warm its body.
Frilled lizards generally live alone, and are territorial. To escape an enemy, a frilled lizard can move very fast on its two hind legs. When it is frightened, the frilled lizard opens its mouth wide which causes it to ruffle out its red and orange scaly frill rather like an open umbrella. The lizard hisses loudly too and may thrash its tail on the ground. This makes it appear bigger and very fierce.
A frilled lizard will bite an enemy with its strong teeth if it is forced to fight. Frilled lizards are not poisonous or harmful to people.
Frilled lizards are usually active during the day, hunting insects, ants, spiders and small mammals and lizards.
After mating with a male frilled lizard in September, the female lays up to 23 tiny eggs. The young hatch about 8 to 12 weeks later and are left to look after themselves.
Conservation Status and Threats
Frilled lizards are not endangered, but are protected.
Main predators are birds of prey such as wedge-tailed Eagles and owls, larger lizards, snakes and dingoes.