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Water Dragon

Water Dragon
Photo Information
Copyright: Guy Castley (Greenie) Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 2 N: 17] (74)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-10
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D70 DSLR
Exposure: f/29.0, 1/40 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-08-16 8:24
Viewed: 4695
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi Everybody

This is a photo of a juvenile eastern water dragon, Physignathus lesueurii, taken in the Numinbah Valley, south-east Queensland. We were out in the field doing faunal survey for one of our undergraduate classes and happened to come across this little guy in one of the moist creeks (no water since there has been very little rain).

The water dragon is quite common in eastern Australia being distributed from temperate regions in Victoria in the south to far north tropical Queensland. Adults grow to a size of about 25 cm (head and body, HB) with their tails that can be up to twice as long as this HB length.

Adults have distinctive spines that run along the dorsal ridge but are most prominent around the neck (nuchal region). Unfortunately, the juvenile have not yet developed these impressive spines (I can upload an image of an adult if people are interested).

Water dragons (as the name might suggest) are associated with water and are able to remain under water for up to an hour. They are excellent swimmers and thei long tails are compressed laterally to aid in swimming.

The water dragon is an agamid lizard (Family Agamidae) which are characterised by lizards that have fairly upright postures, well developed legs and long tails. Interestingly the tails of these lizards do not fall off like other lizards in the skink family (Scincidae) where tails are lost as a defence mechanism.

The photo was taken in the early afternoon and the sun had all but disappeared from the creek line so I used a fill flash from a hand held flash unit to set the dragon apart from the background. I did very little post processing and cropped the original image slightly from the left and adjusted the contrast a little. Image was sharpened up after resizing for the web.

I hope you enjoy it.

thiv56, deblink, JoseMiguel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Guy!

Very good shot, very well done! TFS.

Hi Guy,
Great image, I maybe would have given him a little more room in front of its nose but other then that I think it is perfect. Wonderful quality with fine detail. Good one.

Hi Guy,
very nice shot of this agamid species. Details, especially on eyes, sharpness, POV, composition very nice. green plants give richness to this close up. thanks. best wishes, Ahmet

Hi Guy,
Amazing capture!
I like so much the close approach and the stunning details got on the w. dragon's skin.
The eye contact is so good, as well as the composition made with the help of the greens seen over the dark background.
The lighting worked great!
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2007-08-16 10:35]

Hi Guy
amazing picture with incredible sharpness
imho you should have left a tiny little more space to the right, but great capture anyway

Hello Guy.

Excellent macro, nice composition and colors.
Very good details.

JOse Luis.

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