Frilled Dragons Come Alive in Darwin.
One of the most iconic animals of the Top End is not the crocodile but the Frilled Lizard or Frill-necked Lizard Chlamydosaurus kingii) – or just Frillies. If you have never seen one of these in the wild it is possibly for one of two reasons. The first is bad timing; if you go before November or after March they are scarce. Usually in the wet season, these guys are very abundant and visible on roads, trees and on the ground feeding. The second reason might be that to they are rather clever chaps and to the see them is difficult. As you are walking along the track or driving the road, the frillies are usually waist to shoulder height on trees. They watch out for predators well and as the predator comes they circle around the other side and only their spindly legs give them away. Their camouflage does the rest. So look for two knobby knees at the height they might even do a peek a boo act with their head to check where you are too! Watch the video.
Of course we all know the famous frilly show, the act of displaying, frillies are quite large at anywhere from 70 – 80sm long. But when they frill out its stunning and impressive, a very good defence. Like they say the best defence is offence, which is why frillies may also chase their tormentor, get up on their hind legs and run behind the aggressor. pretty good stuff. The Frill often has a colony of mites, these are native mites, that are very prevalent during the wet season. Must be very irritating!
Frill lizards look big enough to really feed on anything but the truth is they rather fond of invertebrates, caterpillars a favourite, grubs, alates (flying ants), ants, termites and butterflies. Frilled lizards are very scare in the dry season, supposedly high up in the trees. Look inside the lizards mouth.
So now you know a little about frillies.