The Water Dragon belongs to the Physignathus family and this genus has only two species that are found world-wide but this particular fellow resides at the Auckland Zoo on the North Island of New Zealand. This specific type of lizard is called the Eastern Water Dragon and sports a dark stripe from eye to eye in both male and female but the male also has a red flush on its chest and darker bands. They can grow to up to 20 cm long with a strong long tail that can be 2.5 times their body length.
The Eastern Water Dragon is more often heard than it is seen as it makes fast dives into the water when it is disturbed where it can remain under the surface for about an hour. The Eastern Water Dragon usually feeds on a variety of insects and aquatic organisms but it has been known to be a scavenger around picnic areas in its natural habitat of Australia.
Urban areas, fresh water, forests, woodlands and grasslands are its habitat of choice and when you visit the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand their exhibits are closely related to their natural environment. The Eastern Water Dragon is a very intriguing creature to watch but try to be as motionless as possible so they do not feel threatened and disappear.
Eastern Water Dragon, Physignathus leseurii, at the Auckland Zoo, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/320 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 330mm.
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