The frillnecked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) is an iconic reptile of northern Australia. Less well known is that it also occurs in the savannas of southern New Guinea. Insectivorous and arboreal, they commonly perch on branches and termite mounds a couple of metres above the ground, scanning their immediate vicinity for food prey and potential predators.
“They do bask on the ground in the early morning, not uncommonly on roads, as this lizard was doing at the time,” says photography, Michael McCoy. “When I approached to within a few metres, it decided that refuge up the nearest tree was necessary; in this case, and somewhat ineffectively, the higher end of a large fallen branch beside the road, where it immediately spread its frill defensively.”
Extract from Reef and Rainforest by Michael McCoy, CSIRO Publishing.