Chlamydosaurus kingii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Agamidae

Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii Gray, 1825
Common Name(s):
English Frilled Lizard
Taxonomic Notes: This is the sole member of its genus.
Identification information: Chlamydosaurus kingii is grey to orange brown to almost completely black from above, with obscure dark brown variegations. Their distinctive frill is yellow-black, and often possesses flecks of orange (Cogger 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2014-07-21
Assessor(s): O'Shea, M., Allison, A., Tallowin, O., Wilson, S. & Melville, J.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Harrison, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Chanson, J.S., Milligan, H.T., De Silva, R., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Powney, G.
Chlamydosaurus kingii has been assessed as Least Concern owing to its large distribution in Australia and southern New Guinea. It is tolerant of somewhat modified habitats and present in protected areas. There are a number of localized threats, however, these are not thought to impact large parts of this species' range. Monitoring this species population status and threats from trade in New Guinea should be undertaken, as the species may be at some risk in the Trans-Fly.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has a wide distribution in Australia, the Torres Strait islands and southern New Guinea. In Australia it occurs from Kimberley district in Western Australia across the north of the Northern Territory to the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland, from there south to Brisbane and north to the Torres Strait islands of Muralug, Badu, and Mua. In southern New Guinea it occurs in the southern Trans-Fly region in Western Province (Papua New Guinea) and Papua Province (Indonesian New Guinea) (O’Shea 1991, Wilson and Swan 2003, Lavery et al. 2012). Most New Guinean records are from PNG (A. Allison unpubl. data). This savanna species will not penetrate into forested regions, and so is not expected to range further north in New Guinea than is presently known in the southern Trans-Fly (M. O'Shea and A. Allison pers. comm. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Indonesia (Papua); Papua New Guinea (Papua New Guinea (main island group))
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is well-represented in collections from southern New Guinea: in global collections, 93 records from 37 localities in the Trans-Fly and Papua are known (A. Allison unpubl. data). This species is probably reasonably common in suitable habitat in New Guinea, as is the case in northern Australia (A. Allison pers. comm. 2014), but this species may be under recorded as this is a quick, wary species that is difficult to both collect and record. The species' population status is unknown, but localized declines due to the effects of introduced species and - in New Guinea - harvesting cannot be ruled out.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

In Australia this species inhabits dry sclerophyll forests and open woodlands and disturbed urban areas. In New Guinea, it is associated with savannah woodland characterized by Melanoleuca and Eucalyptus, habitats which can be seasonally flooded. Lizards have been collected basking on termite mounds (M. O'Shea pers. comm. 2014). It is arboreal and rarely encountered during the dry season presumably remaining in the canopy. It is frequently seen in the rainy season perching 1-2 m from the ground on trunks of standing rough-barked trees, and often descends to the ground after rain. Studies on this species in Australia have revealed the size and/or location of the home range shows little variation between seasons (Brown et al. 2005). The mean home range of females was almost identical between seasons (dry = 0.63 ha, wet = 0.68 ha), and the mean male home range increased in the wet season (dry = 1.96 ha, wet = 2.53 ha) (Brown et al. 2005). This diurnal ‘sit and wait’ predator spends the majority of its time clinging to branches of trees but descends to the ground to forage, interact with other lizards and move to new trees. Diet consists of insects, primarily caterpillars, ants, termites, and beetles (Cameron and Cogger 1992, Cogger 2000, Wilson and Swan 2003).  


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Allison (2006) noted that in the southern Trans-Fly region this was the only species of special concern, as it is highly sought after for the pet trade. Yuwono (1998) indicated that trade in this species was from Indonesian New Guinea (export being banned from both Papua New Guinea (PNG) - M. O'Shea pers. comm. 2014 - and Australia) and that animals were was always available in adequate numbers. This does not however imply that export is sustainable, and this species is very common in trade. Many of the specimens exported from Indonesia are likely to come from PNG. 

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to this species across its range as a whole.

Late dry season fires in the Northern Territory were responsible for an approximate 30% mortality rate in a small monitored population in Kakadu National Park, though no mortality was recorded in the early dry season fires (Griffiths 1994). While localized, short-term declines have been reported from fires, this species is associated with fire-adapted habitats and is probably not declining as a result of this pressure. Local population declines have also been reported after the arrival of the Cane Toad Rhinella marina (Breeden 1963). Predation by cats has also caused declines in this species (Brook et al. 2004). In the Trans-Fly region of New Guinea, this species is reported to be "sought after for the pet trade" (Allison 2006). There is insufficient information to determine whether trade represents a threat at present, but this species is very hard to breed in captivity and most specimens reported as captive-bred are believed to be wild-caught (M. O'Shea pers. comm. 2014), and trade might well occur at a level sufficient to cause declines in New Guinea. While not currently a major threat, the rapidly changing climate could be detrimental for this species given that they temperature affects the sex and body size of hatchlings (Harlow and Shine 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. This species occurs in the Wasur National Park in Indonesian New Guinea and the Tonda Wildlife Management Area in Papua New Guinea. It also occurs in a variety of National Parks across Australia, including Kakadu (Shine and Lambeck 1989). Localized populations of this species are monitored to study the impact that major threats such as fire are having on its abundance. This species is not listed under CITES and does not have protected status or an export quota in Indonesia. Research into its harvest levels in New Guinea should be carried out, as well as monitoring of numbers found in trade and also to confirm that animals found in trade are not sourced from Australia.

Citation: O'Shea, M., Allison, A., Tallowin, O., Wilson, S. & Melville, J. 2017. Chlamydosaurus kingii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T170384A21644690. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided