FRILL NECKED LIZARD Chlamydosaurus kingii Gray, 1825
This 70 cm lizard is possibly the most well known in Australia. Characterized by a large fold of skin around the neck, which may be erected by this lizard by opening it's mouth when alarmed. This lizard is depicted on the Australian two cent coin.
It's ground colour varies considerably with specimens from the North and North West of Australia being brightest in colour. Queensland specimens tend to be a drab brown or grey in colour. The Frill necked Lizard is found throughout non-arid tropical Australia. Living in woodland habitats, this lizard is also well known for running away on its' two hind legs when disturbed sunning itself or foraging. This lizard does not hesitate to take to trees when under threat.
If cornered this lizard will also lash its' tail, and as a last resort bite. The Frill Necked Lizard has large teeth and powerful jaws so a bite can be very painful. The frill is also believed to aid in thermoregulation in this lizard. The lizard is most active during the wet season, when most specimens are caught. It feeds mainly on small insects, smaller reptiles, etc. Little is known of its' breeding biology. In the past this species generally did not do well in captivity, but since the mid 1980's there has been increasing success with this species and now captive breeding is routine.
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.