Australian Reptiles on White

Australia's Bad and Beautiful Reptiles

Eons of evolution and isolation from other land masses have gifted Australia with some truly mind-blowing reptiles. Enjoy.

VW Pics

In a country as large as Australia — at nearly 3 million square miles, it's nearly twice the size of India — boasting tropical rain forests, bone-dry deserts, and one of the lowest population densities in the world, you're bound to find some rather intense reptiles. Here, a few of our favorites. (Pictured: The Centralian Rough Knobtail Gecko.)

Meet the Eastern Bearded Dragon VW PicsMeet the Eastern Bearded DragonWhen threatened, the EBD inflates its throat and displays its "beard" — actually a collection of spiny, dark grey scales.
Meet the Woma Python VW PicsMeet the Woma PythonWhy, you ask, is the Woma's body covered with scars? Those are emblems of the violent struggles rodents engage in when a Woma pins them against the walls of its burrow before, like, eating them. Meet the Ackies Dwarf Monitor VW PicsMeet the Ackies Dwarf MonitorA patient sit-and-wait-predator, this monitor eats mostly insects (beetles, cockroaches) and lizards of very small stature. And for the record, this Dwarf isn't all that small, usually clocking in at more than two feet long from tongue to tail. Meet the Rough Scaled Python VW PicsMeet the Rough Scaled PythonOnly discovered in 1976, this is the rarest snake in Australia; fewer than a dozen have been captured in the wild. It's believed that they spend most of their time in the tree tops or nestled in sandstone caves but, as stated, they're super rare so no one knows for sure.
Meet the Frilled Neck Dragon VW PicsMeet the Frilled Neck DragonA tree-dweller, this lizard is hard to spot (camouflage at work!) and is most often seen after a rain. Those frills? They're big during mating season. Meet the Common Death Adder VW PicsMeet the Common Death AdderTalk about the power of branding. Originally, this snake's name was "deaf adder" due to the fact that it couldn't hear airborne sounds. Somewhere along the line "deaf" became "death," instantly granting this serpent badass status. Meet the Murray River Turtle VW PicsMeet the Murray River TurtleIf you're a fan of egg trivia — and, really, who isn't? — here's a keeper: The Murray River Turtle's eggs hatch an incredible eight days after they're laid. That, of course, is an incubation period a full two weeks shorter than chickens'.
Collett's Snake VW PicsCollett's SnakeAt nearly six feet long, with a loud hiss and highly toxic venom, the prettily named Collett's Snake is, well, best avoided. Meet the Rough Knobtail Gecko VW PicsMeet the Rough Knobtail GeckoNamed without a single ounce of creativity, the "knobtail" is so christened because there is knob at the end of its tail. Meet the Common Tiger Snake VW PicsMeet the Common Tiger SnakeCommon Tigers not only rank among the deadliest snakes in the world, but are also expert climbers. They've been found atop structures 30 feet high.
Meet the Central Netted Dragon VW PicsMeet the Central Netted DragonFor these "dragons," it's all about body language: They communicate with each other by moving their heads and waving their legs. Meet the Julatten Jungle Python VW PicsMeet the Julatten Jungle PythonFemales can grow to over eight and a half feet long. Oh, and if you're reading this and you happen to be a rodent or a baby bunny, run! Meet the Smooth Knobtail Gecko VW PicsMeet the Smooth Knobtail GeckoThis gecko can live for 10 years. In a landscape as unforgiving as rural Australia, that's a long, long time.
Meet the Yellow Phase Central Bearded Dragon VW PicsMeet the Yellow Phase Central Bearded DragonAccording to one source, the "Bearded Dragon" scares off would-be predators by using threatening looks. Meet the Eastern Brown Snake VW PicsMeet the Eastern Brown SnakeMale Eastern Browns compete in a ritual dance-slash-combat for mates. Meet the Black-headed Python VW PicsMeet the Black-headed PythonThese snakes are common household pets and can live for up to 30 years. Just imagine, an escaped pet snake slithering through your house for 30 ... years ...
Meet the Northern Blue Tongue Lizard VW PicsMeet the Northern Blue Tongue LizardTraditionally, they lived in grasslands or woodlands but, sadly, the Northern Blue Tongue has had to adapt to living under human garbage. They eat slugs and snails. Still, as evidenced by the photo above, they clean up nice. Meet the Red-bellied Black Snake VW PicsMeet the Red-bellied Black SnakeWe don't often think about a snake's neck — except when it's missing. Red Belly here has no distinct neck area, so its head is barely distinguishable from its body. Australian Reptiles on White VW Pics Some call this skink a Tiliqua Rugosa. Some call it the Shingleback Lizard. Either way, this guy does not produce its own body heat.
Meet the Southern Angle-Headed Dragon VW PicsMeet the Southern Angle-Headed DragonUnfortunately, this dragon is quite slow. Fortunately, it is nicely camouflaged, especially for life in Australia's rainforests. Meet the Children's Python VW PicsMeet the Children's PythonYes, it is small. Yes, it is non-venomous. But that doesn't mean this python is good for the kiddies. It was actually named after John G. Children, who was the keeper of the Department of Zoology at the British Museum in the 1830s. Bird Boy John James Audubon actually named a warbler after Children ... but the specimen turned out to be a juvenile yellow warbler. Still, Children always has this python. Meet the Growling Grass Frog VW PicsMeet the Growling Grass FrogA frog that growls? Some describe this creature's call as sounding like a duck that's being violently choked.
Bonus: Meet the Rufous Rat-Kangaroo VW PicsBonus: Meet the Rufous Rat-KangarooThe only non-reptile in the bunch, but a worthy inclusion nonetheless. There's really only one thing one needs to know about the Rufous Rat-Kangeroo's romantic life: These small marsupials are polygynous — that is, they have more than one mate. And with a critter this cute, it's no wonder.
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