Ctenophorus scutulatus Lozenge-marked Dragon
Also known as:
Lozenge-marked Bicycle-dragon
Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 12, 2005
Lozenge-marked Dragon (Ctenophorus scutulatus)
This drab-colored dragon was catching some of the last warmth of the day in the red sand desert near Monkey Mia. This was the only lizard I saw that afternoon other than the numerous Ctenophorus marmoratus. It took me quite awhile to identify this lizard, because the few photos of Ctenophorus scutulatus that I managed to dig up all showed quite colorful lizards, not dull gray ones like this. Apparently it is one of many lizard species that attain a dark coloration when their body temperatures are lower.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.

Peron National Park, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 13, 2005
Lozenge-marked Dragon (Ctenophorus scutulatus)
The next day I was visiting the lizard population of the Peron Homestead in Peron National park, when I saw a large, speedy lizard racing across the sand. I never did get very close, but I got this one long-distance shot before it raced off again. I couldn't identify the lizard at the time, but from the photograph its identity is clear. You can even see the lozenge marks on its neck and back. (I think "Lozenge-marked Bicycle-dragon" has got to be one of the best lizard names ever.)
Peron National Park, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 14, 2005
Lozenge-marked Dragon (Ctenophorus scutulatus)
Another day later, and I finally got a good look at a nice colorful Ctenophorus scutulatus. This one was along the side of a four-wheel-drive dirt track leading from the Peron Homestead to Cape Peron. This was a popular place for lizards; we also saw a few Dwarf Bearded Dragons and a bunch of Gould's Monitors.

These lizards are not shown on the Peron peninsula in at least some of the reference books, including Wilson & Swan's great field guide. This could be due to insufficient locality records, or it could be that this species has only recently spread onto the peninsula.

Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 24, 2009
Lozenge-marked Dragon (Ctenophorus scutulatus)
The great thing about driving slowly back and forth across roads on Shark Bay, even if you don’t see any thorny devils (just sayin’), is that every once in awhile some other marvelous lizard will be posing for you.

I’ve written up an account of this three-week trip to Australia here.

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