The Sleepy Lizard.

South Australian common name for:

Shingle-back lizard. Trachydosaurus rugosus

This page was last updated April 10, 2006

The last week of October saw the return of the Galah nursery to the bush outside our fence. It also brought all three of our large lizard species to the garden. The Blue tongue lizards live in the garden and young ones have made an appearance. A Tawny Dragon has also been seen. While mowing the lawn I saw a large Sleepy Lizard near the driveway. He saw me too and headed for cover. When I reappeared with the camera he thought he had better head back home and I got some good pictures of him in the open. At one stage he walked straight at me and passed by my foot. He was as demure as before but he was not going to hang around to see if I was friend or foe. The pictures this time are from the digital camera and the colours are true. The yellow markings were striking and the very dark brown scales looked nearly black in places. He had a very healthy sheen. I believe it is the same lizard that I wrote about in 1999 (below this story.)

October '99.

Our domestic cats live in our carport when we are not around to keep an eye on them. They are inside our home in the evenings and at night when many other cats are left to their antisocial galavanting and murderous habits. A purpose-built shadehouse encloses the carport with shadecloth and trellis. In the summer the breezes can filter through the leafy tree ferns and palms. A small pond provides some humidity and ensures the cats are never without some water if their bowl runs low. It is an idyllic habitat. When it is closed up, it is 'snake proof'. It needs to be because the yard was once home to many snakes The wood work is fitting and the shadecloth is buried deep in the soil. But leave the door open while out amongst the garden and you never know who might blunder in and then be trapped when you next lock up. The cats were enthralled when they discovered our visitor the Sleepy Lizard. It was a minor catastrophe for my wife and the cats were relegated to the security of the house until I was able to rediscover the intruder and relocate him to the bush. I warmed him up in the sunshine early one morning after finding him the evening before and then pointed him in the direction of the creek. Once he warmed up he was able to 'dash' off as fast as his stubby legs could slide him along. I relocated him only tens of metres away from the house as apparently Sleepy Lizards live their whole lives within a one kilometre territory and they mate for life. He was a very sociable fellow and trusted me totally, not uttering a sound nor poking his tongue out as do the Bluetongue Lizards I have often become acquainted with. He was about 250mm (10") long.

November '99. The Bluetongue Lizard.
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