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Camouflage...? Nice try Mr. Lizard

Camouflage...?  Nice try Mr. Lizard
Photo Information
Copyright: Stephan Duchesne (iglootrek) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 10 N: 460] (1623)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2001-09-01
Categories: Reptiles, Rain Forest
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel G
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Lizards - Lagartos - Lézards, Australian Reptiles and Frogs, Reptiles - Monitors, monsters, & dragons 1, Camouflage [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-11-05 2:57
Viewed: 8217
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Boyd’s Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii)

This guy is supposed to be reknown for it's camouflage but we found him easily during a tour at Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rain Forest.

· The forest dragon is very distinctive with large pointed scales on a crest behind the head, pinkish flat-topped conical scales on the cheeks and a deep mustard yellow pouch beneath the jaw line.

· Despite its ornate structures and bright colouration it is cryptic in its tropical rainforest environment where it camouflages well.

· It spends most of its time in trees and due to its camouflage it is often very hard to see and thus tends to go unnoticed.

· A Boyd's forest dragon is only found in the rainforests of north eastern Queensland.

· These lizards spend much of their time perching on the side of tree trunks just one or two metres from the ground waiting to ambush prey. They sometimes have favourite trees to which they will regularly return. They eat beetles, spiders, crickets and lots of ants. They also love earthworms. Although they may occasionally eat rainforest fruits, this seems to be rare.

· The male is larger than the female and can be distinguished by its larger, blockier head. Both sexes have a large yellow dewlap below their chins which they can erect using a bone called the hyoid. The dewlap is used for displaying to each other and to scare off predators.

· In general the forest dragon relies on its superb camouflage to escape predators. It will usually stay very still, only moving when it is sure it has been spotted. Then it slowly folds in its arms and legs and slides around the back of the tree, keeping the trunk between itself and its observer.

· The best way to spot a forest dragon is to carefully scan the sides of the trees at about head height, while slowly walking through the rainforest. Examine any large bump – it may well turn out to be a lizard.

· Boyd's forest dragon belongs to a South-east Asian group of lizards, although our species (Hypsilurus (Gonocephalus) boydii) is endemic to the Wet Tropics region of North Queensland.

· It is one of the Daintree region's most spectacular examples of this family. It is often found perched in the first few meters height of a slim rainforest trunk. Their still stance is also a way of avoiding detection by predators, and if spotted, they slowly move themselves around the other side of the trunk out of sight. They are common at Mossman Gorge and at Marrdja, especially at warmer times of the year, but due to their capacity for camouflage, they can be hard to spot.

I'm sorry about the quality of the picture but it was originally taken with a regular SLR camera, so this is a scan...

duckpond, scottevers7, marhowie, cecilia, ellis49, TAZ, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To TAZ: Workshopiglootrek 1 11-06 12:55
To marhowie: Not digital...iglootrek 1 11-05 23:31
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-11-05 3:09]

That is a very impressive lizard, Stephen. His colors and markings are beautiful. Great POV and clarity of details as well. Great job and TFS. : )

Nice shot of the lizzard. Good composition and excellent note.

The colours does seem to be a tad hazy, I did a workshop to try an get it less hazzy hope you like.

Good details and TFS

Hi Stephen,
I can see how he could easily blend in so well. It is funny here how his body is so much bigger than the tree he is on that I don't think his camo is working so well. Excellent detail here. The nice OOF backround makes him standout well. Superb notes.

Nice shot Stephan. Perhaps not the best quality but a great pose & POV. Good detail and an excellent note. Thank You.

Well done,fantastic image...with great colour and texture...

Hi Stephan,
The technical quality maybe is not the best but that's the scanning.
It's a beautiful shot with very good composition and POV.
The colours are very nice. And a great note too.
Very well done.

Beautiful and interesting shot that you have well done ! I tried a WS... Congratulation Stephan and thanks for sharing.

" the Life is so rare in the universe and the Nature so precious, take care of them! " Christian...

Very difficult species to find in the wild, so consider yourself very lucky indeed. I've spent ages looking for these guys without success.
For a scan its quite a good shot. Good details. TFS.

Hi Stephan
Thanks for this interesting photo and notes.i have added your work to my theme "camouflage"

It is a big shame, that previously disadvantaged persons in South Africa kill chameleons at sight considering them as evil

Thanks for sharing,
Greetings from South Africa
Ingrid Shaul

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