Habitat: Wet Tropics rainforests of north-eastern Australia

Distribution: Habitat margins are restricted, from just north of Townsville to near Cooktown.

Size: Grows up to 50cm, from snout to tail tip

Conservation status: While Boyd’s Forest Dragon is not currently endangered, its habitat faces deforestation threats. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure its survival.


The enigmatic Boyd's forest dragon (Lophosaurus boydii) is a tree-dwelling reptile endemic to Australia's Wet Tropics regions. One of two rainforest dragons in Australia, is is characterised by its colourful, large-scaled head, white 'stones' embedded in its cheeks and a line of curved spikes down its back.

While the specimen pictured below appears brightly coloured, this cryptic reptile is a master of disguise, and can be difficult to spot even when it's right in front of you. They rely on this camouflage heavily for protection against predators, which include grey goshawks and feral pigs. 

+Fun fact: Boyd’s forest dragons don't bask in the sun like other reptiles (known as thermoregulating), instead letting their body temperature fluctuate with the temperature of the surrounding air in a process known as thermoconforming. It's thought this adaptation is due to the fact that sunlight cannot be relied on under the forest canopy. 

The Boyd's forest dragon likely immigrated from Southeast Asia when a land bridge to New Guinea existed during a previous ice age.


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