Adult snout-vent length (SVL) = 200-250mm (males larger)
Tail (original) = about 250% of SVL
Total Length: 700-850mm
Average length of adult males is 730 mm (250 mm + 480 mm)
Note: females are smaller
The Gippsland Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii howittii) is Australia's largest dragon lizard, which may attain a length of about 1 metre, although this should be considered an exceptionally large specimen. It is a subspecies of Australian Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii) and the one present in the ACT, with a healthy population at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. They are common in the Canberra region in rocky areas along major rivers and creeks. Localities include the Cotter River and Paddys River. They are also found in other areas of the Southern Tablelands with sightings along the Murrumbidgee River and the Numeralla River further south. They are the subspecies better adapted to colder areas, being found in high country like Kosciusko National Park, whereas the other subspecies Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii is found further north and generally closer to the coast, although the Gippsland Water Dragon can also be found on the coast, particularly along the south coast. The cut-off point along the coast is roughly the Shoalhaven River with the Eastern Water Dragon being found north of the river, although the Gippsland Water Dragon penetrates further north via the ranges, further suggesting that it is the more cold-adapted of the two subspecies.
Visually distinguishing the Gippsland Water Dragon from the Eastern Water Dragon is relatively easy, as long as their skin is reasonably clean and not stained from the water, as identification of the two subspecies depends largely on observable differences in colours and patterns.
The Gippsland Water Dragon may be distinguished by its green-blue colour, especially during the breeding season, when this overall colouration is quite distinct. Another key difference is the absence of a prominent dark stripe behind the eye in the Gippsland Water Dragon, which is characteristic of the Eastern Water Dragon. The gular region of the two subspecies is also quite different, with Intellagama l. howittii having orange-yellow streaked with darker striping, which is sometimes quite striking, particularly in mature males, whereas Intellagama l. lesueurii typically has a pale, unmarked throat that is sometimes immaculate white in mature males. The belly and chest of Intellagama l. howittii are also quite different to Intellagama l. lesueurii, usually being blackish green, especially in mature males, and the limbs are often quite dark, sometimes even black. Whereas in Intellagama l. lesueurii the chest and belly are usually bright to deep red, particularly in mature males. Intellagama l. lesueurii also have relatively strong dark transverse bars across the back, whereas these dark bars are often much reduced in the Gippsland Water Dragon.
MapsANBG Australian National University Bendora Reservoir Black Mountain Bullen Range Central Molonglo Commonwealth & Kings Parks Corin Reservoir Cotter Reserve Cotter Reservoir Cuumbeun Nature Reserve Gibraltar Pines Gigerline Nature Reserve Ginninderry Conservation Corridor Googong Foreshore Googong Reservoir Jerrabomberra Wetlands Kambah Pool Lake Burley Griffin Central/East Lake Burley Griffin West Lower Cotter Catchment Lower Molonglo Molonglo Gorge Molonglo River Reserve Namadgi National Park National Arboretum Forests National Zoo and Aquarium Pine Island to Point Hut Point Hut to Tharwa Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Stony Creek Swamp Creek Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Umbagong District Park Urambi Hills Uriarra Recreation Reserve Woodstock Nature Reserve
PlacesActon, ACT Barton, ACT Booth, ACT Boro, NSW Bumbalong, NSW Bunyan, NSW Burra, NSW Canberra Central, ACT Canberra, ACT Chakola, NSW Coombs, ACT Coree, ACT Cotter River, ACT Curtin, ACT Denman Prospect, ACT Fyshwick, ACT Goobarragandra, NSW Greenway, ACT Hackett, ACT Karabar, NSW Latham, ACT Macgregor, ACT Melba, ACT Molonglo Valley, ACT Paddys River, ACT Pialligo, ACT Queanbeyan, NSW Rendezvous Creek, ACT Stromlo, ACT Tennent, ACT Tharwa, ACT The Ridgeway, NSW Uriarra Village, ACT Wee Jasper, NSW Winifred, NSW Yarralumla, ACT Yarrow, NSW
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