I've spotted quite a few large lizards around Brisbane's parks, such as in Roma Street Parklands. Today, while I sat in a park by the river, one scuttled over. I took his photo, then he pushed himself up high showing off his red chest, and looked distinctly unhappy about me being there.

Coming to see me

At this point a gaggle of German tourists spotted him and ran over to take his picture, which caused him to make a dash for the nearest bush. I therefore didn't get to discover first-hand if he (or she!) was dangerous or not.

The FourSquare page on Roma Street Parkland has quite a few tips about these, calling them variously lizards and dragons. Some seem to suggest they are friendly, others that they're dangerous, but I'm not sure if all of these entries are serious.

Does anyone know what kind of lizard / dragon / reptile these are? And from that, if they're dangerous or not?

In case it helps, here's a slightly closer photo of another one I came across a few days ago:

A different one up close

  • This isn't an animal identification site. – Maître Peseur Dec 30 '13 at 17:01
  • 2
    True, but it is a site for travel related problems. The problem is that there's no information signs up about these animals, they're not commonly known ones, and they do come up to you (as the question describes!) For a visitor to Brisbane, it's therefore useful to know if they're dangerous, and what they are so you can search more about them – Gagravarr Dec 31 '13 at 6:45
  • Try this one biology.stackexchange.com – Maître Peseur Dec 31 '13 at 7:55
  • Lizards are harmless to humans, with the very notable exception of the Komodo Dragon. The Komodo Dragon is living in some well identified islands in Indonesia, i.a. the island of Komodo. – Maître Peseur Dec 31 '13 at 7:58

Looks like an Eastern Water Dragon to me. From wildlife.qld.com.au:

Sexually dimorphic with males more robust than females. Prominent spines on head and along length of back, with a laterally compressed body and tail. Long powerful limbs. Olive green to brown in colour with short dark bands on the body, dark stripe behind the eye. Males have a distinctive red flush over the chest.

From http://reptilesofaustralia.com/lizards/agamids/plesuerii.htm:

enter image description here

Apparently they make good pets, but like all goannas, lizards, dragons, crocodiles etc., the bite could be nasty and depending on what they have in their jaws, could be easily infected.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.