Running Lizard: ‘Chlamydosaurus kingii’– Erakina

An agamid lizard can run standing up on its hind legs, with its forelegs and tail in the air. Chlamydosaurus kingii is the scientific name of the frilled dragon. The Latin word ‘chlamydo’ means small cloak while ‘saurus’ means lizard. It’s also referred to as the frilled dragon and the frilled agama. There are 420 species of the agamidae lizard family.

Chlamydosaurus kingii


An Australian agamid lizard may be a large, tree-dwelling lizard. They vary in color and size. On average, the larger adults can reach about 3 feet from head to tail and weigh up to 1.1 pounds. Their color could also be brown, yellow, black, or tan. The scales on the neck frill of this lizard help to stop the loss of moisture in their warm environment and are used as a huge part of the lizard’s defensive posture.


Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Iguania
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Genus: Chlamydosaurus
  • Species: C. kingii


The frilled-neck lizards are found mainly within the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. These reptiles stay in a warm environment. Their habitat includes woodland savannas, temperate and tropical forests. They spend the bulk of their time in the trees. The lizards venture to the ground only in search of food, or to interact in territorial conflicts. They’re quick and might move up and around the trunks of trees in brief bursts of speed.Agamid Lizard

Prey and Predators

Their diet includes insects like cicadas, spiders, beetles, ants, termites, moths, and butterflies. These reptiles also eat small mammals like mice, rats, and smaller lizards. These lizards explore for prey at sunrise and sunset. This reptile can consume many thousands of termites in one sitting, then not eat again for months.

Eagles, owls and hawks, snakes, dingoes, larger lizards, and feral cats are predators of those lizards. The brown-gray scales of this lizard help to camouflage it within the trees.

Defensive Behavior

When feels threatened, this creature rises on its hind legs, opens its yellow-colored mouth, unfurls the pleated skin flap that encircles its head, and hisses. If an attacker is unintimidated by those capers, the lizard simply turns tail, mouth, and frill open, and bolts, legs splaying left and right. It continues an even run without looking back until it reaches the safe place of a tree. Frill-necked lizard


Female lizards can lay up to 8 to 23 tiny eggs in an underground nest, and hatchlings emerge independently and are capable of hunting and utilizing their frill. Each baby might be as long as an adult’s pinkie finger. The lifespan of this lizard can extend up to 20 years. 

Threats to survival

These creatures are currently not threatened or protected. However, habitat reduction and predation, particularly by feral cats, are affecting their populations.

Tags: animals

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