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Water Dragons of Australia

Updated on October 5, 2014
An Australian Water Dragon
An Australian Water Dragon | Source

Did you know we have Dragons in Australia?

Our dragons may not be as big as the ones you read about in old legends but they're a good size just the same.

They don't guard treasure hoards or devour maidens although they will consume lots of insects and the occasional frog.

Australian Eastern Water Dragons are lizards. Shy little fellows who hang about on creeks, dams and rivers, keeping out of the way of predators and avoiding people as much as possible.

See the Red Belly on this Water Dragon? - This shows that he's male

A male Water Dragon
A male Water Dragon | Source

Water Dragon in Queensland

Here's a fine specimen of Water Dragon. He's living in the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane.

If you get the chance, spend a day at Mt Coot-tha, Queensland's premier subtropical botanic gardens. These 52 hectare gardens are only seven kilometres from the city.

See the Spines? - Just like a big dragon would have

Close up and personal with a Water Dragon
Close up and personal with a Water Dragon | Source

No red spot? It's a female Water Dragon

Water Dragons are a grey-brown colour, with black banding and a row of spines from the crest of the head to the tail. You'll see a broad black stripe extending from her eye to the back of her head too.

Where do you see a Water Dragon?

Keep an eye out for Water Dragons near creeks, rivers, dams and lakes.

There are some to be spotted in urban areas too, in parkland near creeks or rivers. I've seen Water Dragons around the creek near me, and enjoyed the sight of them basking on rocks, logs or overhanging branches

Water Dragon surveying Sydney Harbour

Water Dragon looking over Sydney Harbour
Water Dragon looking over Sydney Harbour | Source

What do Water Dragons eat?

Water Dragons eat fruit and berries, insects, molluscs and crustaceans as well as small vertebrates like fish.

They will eat hatchlng tortoises too, and even small mammals.

You can sometimes see a Water Dragon scavenging around picnic spots

Water Dragons are Great Swimmers - (Naturally)

Water Dragon swimming
Water Dragon swimming | Source

Water Dragons are excellent swimmers and dive into the water if they're disturbed.

They can stay submerged under the water for about half an hour. By that time, the danger will have most likely gone way.

Do you have a Water Dragon?

Water Dragons: A Complete Guide to Physignathus and More (Complete Herp Care)
Water Dragons: A Complete Guide to Physignathus and More (Complete Herp Care)

A complete guide to the care of Australian Water Dragons


Small Water Dragon at Dinner

Here's a real dragon!

A moody black and white dragon design.The only extra colour is the yellow-green of the dragon eyes making them look even creepier.

100% cotton and hand dyed - the detailed dragon fantasy design won't wash out, it's actually embedded in the fabric of the shirt. Pre-washed, pre-shrunk and made with water-based inks and dyes, free of chemicals.

Black Dragon T-Shirt - $21.60
Retail Price: $31.60
You Save: $10.00
from: Australian Native T-Shirts

What do you think of Water Dragons?

Would you have one as a pet?

See results

© 2012 Susanna Duffy

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      I saw goannas during my time in Australia, but never met a water dragon. Great name for them.

    • dixiebliss profile image


      6 years ago

      Reptiles are almost my favorite - I love them!! Thank you for this!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i really enjoyed your post.. thank you..

    • TenPoundTenor profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I love lizards.

    • TenPoundTenor profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I love lizards.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful and fascinating creatures.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      6 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Beautiful creatures, loved this article with pictures about the water dragons of Australia.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You have a good niche in Australian wildlife - you should start a new one on the bugs there. My friend said she hates to take out her contacts at night for fear she will miss seeing another exotic one! I like dragons too (have a lens on them). Nice job on this lens.

    • HomesteadingChic profile image


      6 years ago

      How cool! My son loves dragons. He would love this.


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