Chlamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon, Frilled Lizard, King's Lizard)

The frilled lizard with its menacing extended frill display is a master in the art of the bluff. Native to the northern Australia and parts of Indonesia, the frilled lizard inhabits tropical and warm temperate forests as well as savanna woodlands. Its cryptic colouration allows it to blend in perfectly with the bark of trees where it spends most of its time foraging for food and observing its surroundings. Adult frilled lizards can reach a maximum total length of 75cm (approximately 30 inches) and weigh as much as 1000g. Individuals hailing from Indonesia tend to reach a slightly larger overall size, but lack the vibrant colouration of their Australian counterparts. In the wild, frilled lizards are elusive animals which prefer to remain undetected. But, when confronted they will either run or, as a last resort, erect their impressive frill and launch an open mouthed attack on any perceived threat. In captivity, frilled lizards require a large enclosure with many arboreal perches. They are extremely active and will utilize this arboreal space to run, display and bask. Captive animals are generally reluctant to open their frill and will only do so when extremely aggravated. Males in the height of the breeding season will often open their frill partially and stomp their front limbs in a comical display to females. Frilled lizards thrive on a diet consisting of primarily insects. Prey may consist of commonly available insects such as crickets and large mealworms, but to really elicit a magnificent feeding response, a keeper should try offering various species of cockroach (large and small varieties). If any lizard has ever earned the title of dragon, this would be it! From its unmatched ferocity to the oddity of its bipedal motion the frilled lizard is definitely an awe-inspiring captive.

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