Reptile Rankinia diemensis (Mountain Heath Dragon)


Mors Kochanski
Sep 7, 2011
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Scientific Name: Rankinia diemensis

Common Name: Mountain Heath Dragon

Sub-class: Squamata

Family: Agamidae

Other Names: Mountain Dragon

Distribution: Uplands of NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania

Habitat: Heath and dry sclerophyll forests in the Great Dividing Range and coastal ranges. They are usually found in forest clearings, on rock and stones or fallen timber.

Field Notes: The Mountain Heath Dragon is a small lizard with a short tail and short limbs. Coloration seems to vary, but is generally a pale underbelly and brown camouflage splotching on the upper side of the body in a scalloped pattern that extends from the head to the tail. Brown patterning around the lips may also be used to help identify this species and to differentiate it from similar species which share the same range such as Amphibolurus muricatus (Jacky Lizard). Another positive way to differentiate between these two species is that the Mountain Heath Dragon has blue inside the mouth, whereas the Jacky Lizard has yellow inside the mouth. Mountain Heath Dragons are not as fast as other dragons and often won't run when approached. They often seem quite curious and tame.

Photos taken Nattai Wilderness, Nov, 2011