Mallee Military Dragon

Ctenophorus fordi SVL 55mm

(Mallee Dragon; Mallee Sand-dragon)

What does it look like?  Brown to reddish-brown above, with black and smaller whitish spots on back and tail. Edges of back have whitish longitudinal stripes from neck to base of tail. Sides of body and tail blackish, more so in males than females, with several small paler spots, and lower longitudinal stripe, bordered with blackish below. Front limbs have thin whitish bands in midlateral area. Belly, throat and chin black with rest of undersurface white. Females paler than males, with black spots on throat.

Where is it found?  Arid to semi-arid southern Australian mainland, from south-eastern WA, through southern SA and far north-western Vic, to south-western NSW.

What are its habitats & habits? Found in sandy and stony deserts with areas of mallee and spinifex, where it forages in open areas for ants, retreating to dense tussocks for safety. Oviparous, with 2 or more eggs in a clutch, and high mortality rates in eggs laid in hot, dry summers. Bobs head when in presence of other dragon species, but not thought to be territorial.