Nowhere else in the world is
there as many
lizards in one country as there is in Australia.
They particularly like dry
They also like warm
because like most other reptiles,
they need warmth to keep their own
York and northern
there is plenty of heat and plenty of the outback - excellent lizard
We don't have some of
the more famous
ones such as perenties or thorny devils, but we have other beauties
like frilled lizards, lace monitors, blue tongue skinks and many others.
The ones you see lots of,
the small ones that run around in the leaf litter on the ground, are
- the largest group of Australian lizards with 370
A small skink on the ground in
Some are legless,
most have legs, and many are only known by Latin names. Some of the
most famous ones are the larger ones, such as Blue Tongue
of them - Tlilqua
- is found in Cape York.
Others that we have include Garden Skink Lampropholis delicata,
Forest Skink Gnypetoscincus
queenslandiae, Major Skink Egernia
frerei, Eastern Striped Skink Ctenotus
robustus, Eastern Water
Skink Eulamprus quoyii,
Lively Rainbow Skink Carlia
Black Mountain Skink Carlia
and many other species that only have Latin names.
Geckos belong to a fairly large group of small nocturnal
best known ones to us locals are house
geckos that live in our homes.
Unfortunately nowadays the introduced Asian
House Gecko has overtaken
the niche and forced the original native
house geckos (Eastern
Dtella Gehyra dubia)
small gecko in Cape Tribulation.
But there are heaps more species that live in the bush, and the ones we
have in Cape York include Ring-tailed Gecko
Mountain Gecko Nactus
Pelagic Gecko Nactus
Mourning Gecko Lepidodactylus
Box Patterned Gecko Diplodactylus
steindachneri, Bynoe's Gecko Heteronotia
Giant Tree Gecko Pseudothecadactylus
Northern Velvet Gecko Oedura
castelnaui, Zigzag Velvet Gecko Oedura rhombifer,
Tailed Gecko Orraya
and Pickly Knob Tailed Gecko Nephrurus
skinks and geckos, and although not quite as large as monitors and
goannas, they are quite impressive animals, and some of them are quite
easy to come across.
The most famous ones are the Frilled
areas such as the coast and rainforests, there are Water
Forest Dragon Hypsilurus
Others we have in Cape York include Nobbi Dragons Amphibolurus nobbi,
The largest and most
impressive of our lizards are monitors
perentie - Australia's largest one, but we have the second largest -
Others that we have include Yellow-spotted Monitor Varanus panoptes,
Sand Goanna Varanus
gouldii, Mangrove Monitor Varanus indicus,
Black Headed Monitor Varanus
Rusty Monitor Varanus
and Spotted Tree
Monitor Varanus scalaris.
And finally there is the group of legless lizards - the
as they really look like snakes. At a closer look though, they have a
head of a lizard and not a snake. Also unlike snakes, they have ear
openings, unforked tongues and they can make a (gecko-like) noise. They
are all harmless.
legless lizard by
The ones we have in Cape York include the Common Scaly Foot Lizard Pygopus lepidopodus, Northern Hooded Scaly Foot
and Burton's Snake-lizard
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You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
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to stay (general info), what
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and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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