Gecko’s are some of my favourite reptiles to find while out herping, partly because every species seem to have their own beautiful and unique eye colouration. Here’s a couple of the incredible species we have out in the Mid West of Western Australia.
Lozenge marked dragons (Ctenophorus scutulatus) are a common species in Mid West Western Australia. This Juvenile was found making the most of the last few days of summer earlier this year. Juveniles often have very vibrant and distinctive patterning.
Recently I was contacted for a radio interview with ABC North West to talk about my PhD work with Varanids. While a nerve wracking experience (my first interview- probably evident to listeners!), it was an exciting opportunity to talk about my work, and some of the problems facing conservation of our incredible native wildlife. Science communication is an essential component of research.
Here’s a summary of the interview. Please note, BHS is VHF (probably the fault of my nervous voice!)
If you have any further questions about my work, please get in touch.
Two common species of varanids within Western Australia are Varanus gouldii, and Varanus panoptes. These two species are often confused. While having similar appearances, V. panoptes tend to grow larger and stockier than V. gouldii, and vary slightly in patterning. V. gouldii appear to have a more uniformly patterned body than V. panoptes, which typically have several well defined yellow spots. The following are some photos of each species.
Diplodactylus pulcher (with a very apt common name of the Pretty Gecko, or Fine Faced Gecko) are a relatively widespread and common species. D. pulcher has a wide variation in patterning, and can be difficult to differentiate from other species of the Diplodactylus genus, such as D. granariensis. This strikingly marked individual was found in Mid West Western Australia in an open area of a region largely dominated by mulga vegetation.
Perentie’s (Varanus giganteus) are Australia’s largest lizard, growing up to around 2.5m long. Pictured is a juvenile perentie found in Rothsay, WA (close to the southern most end of their distribution).
Western netted dragon’s are found throughout most of arid/semi arid Western Australia, and parts of South Australia. This species typically lives in woody hollows, rock crevices, or shallow burrows, often in and around acacia shrublands.