Eastern Water Dragon


General description

A grey-brown lizard up to 80cm in length with black banding and a row of spines from the crest of the head to the tail. There is usually a broad black stripe extending from the eye to the back of the head, and males often have a red belly and chest.

In Australia, found in urban areas, fresh water, forests and woodlands, grasslands. They are semi-aquatic, powerful swimmers and also climb trees. Hibernate during winter so do not require a warm climate.

Most likely to occur through escapes from captivity or dumping/release into the wild. Small clutches of 6-18 eggs are laid in burrows, normally one clutch per year, sometimes two. Hatchlings enter the population in February and March and reach adult size in four years.

Quick, effective omnivores that eat a variety of insects, aquatic organisms, moths, wasps, crustaceans, small vertebrates, fruit and plant matter. Likely to impact native endangered species by competeing for food resources.

Site management

Recommended approaches

Please report any sightings to your local Biosecurity officer biosecurity@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Search tags

RPMS status

Animal Pest - when not held in secure containment
eastern water dragon - Main species image