The Mountain Dragon belongs to a genus of small lizards (Rankinia) which usually have hidden or covered ear structures. It is similar in appearance to the Jacky Lizard but the inside of its mouth is blue (compared with yellow for the Jacky Lizard).
A Mountain Dragon, Rankinia diemensis, Cape Portland, Tasmania. Photographer: Peter Robertson. Source: Wildlife Profiles
Mountain Dragons are pale grey to dark brown in colour with darker patches on the back arranged in four lines. The scales on their backs are variable with the large spiny ones centrally located and arranged in lines down the back. They also have spiny scales along each side of the base of the tail. Mountain Dragons have a snout-vent length of about 80 millimetres and their tails are quite long (often 120 millimetres or more).
The Mountain Dragon is the most southerly distributed dragon lizard in the world. Its diet consists mainly of insects. Reproduction is similar to that of the Jacky Lizard – they breed every summer and may have 3-9 eggs. Adults in the southern part of the distribution tend to reach a greater size than their northerly relatives.
A Mountain Dragon, Rankinia diemensis, digging a nestPhotographer / Source: Michael Kearney
Mountain Dragons are confined to the uplands of south-eastern Australia including the eastern part of Tasmania. They inhabit dry sclerophyll forests and heathlands and are usually found in ground litter or low vegetation.
The distribution of the Mountain Dragon in VictoriaSource: Museum Victoria (www.museum.vic.gov.au/bioinformatics)
Cogger H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.
Wilson S. & Swan G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.
Hi Colin and Alan, The most recent nomenclature for this species is indeed Rankinia diemensis. We have now updated this InfoSheet to reflect this. Thank you for helping us to improve the quality of our online resources!
Hi Ian, there are no records of Mountain Dragons eating Portuguese Millipedes, and although it is possible, we don't consider it very likely. Other lizards with similar feeding habits, such as Blue Tongue Lizards and Jacky Dragons, will not eat Portuguese Millipedes due to their highly repellent chemicals. However, there is the odd animal that will take them, but with a choice of other prey available it would be unusual for Mountain Dragons to bother.
The reference for this revision is:Melville, J., Shoo, L.P. & Doughty, P. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of the heath dragons (Rankinia adelaidensis and R. parviceps) from the southwestern Australian biodiversity hotspot. Australian Journal of Zoology 56: 159-171
Try contacting the certified dealer that you purchased your dragons from as they might have some good suggestions for places to purchase suitable food and foliage in Sweden.
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Thanks for sharing this, you certainly have a remarkable example of a magpie nest!