Boyd’s Forest Dragon: The Majestic Lizard


I saw Boyd’s forest dragon when I went to Sydney Zoo in spring, and I immediately fell in love. This lizard looks absolutely graceful, and every detail on its body is just mesmerizing. I really want to know more about them, and here I am doing research and sharing what I learn with you. If you have anything else to add, feel free to let me know.


An adult male of this species has an average length of 16 centimeters, excluding the 32 centimeters tail. While an adult female is smaller, and she is only around 14 centimeters with a 28 centimeters tail. So Boyd’s forest dragon is around 45 centimeters in length, with individuals that could be longer. The combination of the slender body and long tail provides this dragon with excellent balance and agility. So navigating the forest canopy is their forte.

The above part of the body of Boyd’s forest dragon is generally brown or gray, and some individuals have a green flush. As you can see, it has very enlarged cheek scales which is one of its distinctive characteristics. This dragon also has a prominent nuchal crest and a yellow dewlap under its chin that is edged with enlarged spines. Besides the cool nuchal crest, its dorsal crest which consists of enlarged hardened and pointed scales runs down to the base of its tail. Despite their enigmatic appearance, their coloration and texture resemble tree bark so camouflaging is easy for them.


While most lizards like to bask in the sun, this one does not. It lets its body temperature fluctuate with air temperature instead. Along with that, Boyd’s forest dragon spends most of its time perching on tree trunks. Another interesting thing about them is that they are active at dawn, and they remain active even when it rains. When it comes to personality, both males and females are territorial; and their territory is around 1,000 square meters.

3Feeding & Habitats

I called them lazy feeders as they prefer sitting and waiting for prey to come instead of hunting for one. A Boyd’s forest dragon spies from its perch, and sometimes on the ground, and then locks and catches the prey. Its main diet is invertebrates with earthworms making up a high proportion. This dragon also consumes flowers, small fruits, and vertebrates on some occasions as well.

Boyd’s forest dragons are native to rainforests in the Wet Tropics region of northern Queensland, Australia. As an arboreal lizard, these dragons live in both lowland and upland rainforests with a range limitation from north of Townsville to near Cooktown. They also hang out around Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham as well as in some parts of Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

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