Nobbi Dragon Amphibolurus nobbi


The Nobbi Dragon is similar in many ways to the Jacky Lizard: it is similar in length and weight (about 80 millimetres snout vent) and its ear membranes and nostrils are similarly conspicuous. However, there are several key characteristics which make Nobbi Dragons easily to distinguish from Jacky Lizards.

Nobbi Dragon

A male Nobbi Dragon, Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri, Lake Albacutya, Victoria.
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles

The scales of Nobbi Dragons are not as variable as those of Jacky Lizards and they tend to be lighter in colour. Nobbi Dragons have a distinctive stripe along their backs which is often pale-coloured or even yellow (but can have darker patches).  The back part of the lizard (rump and tail) is often tinged with pink or red and the inside of the mouth is pink.

There is considerable variation in colour patterns in the Nobbi Dragon. Two sub-species are recognised in Australia, but only the Western subspecies Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri is found in Victoria. Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri is found south and west of the Warrambungle Mountains (only just dipping into the north-west corner of Victoria). The other subspecies Amphibolurus nobbi nobbi occurs from northern New South Wales to the coast and ranges of south-eastern Queensland.

Western Nobbi Dragon

A female Western Nobbi Dragon, Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri, outside her burrow, Hattah, Victoria.
Photographer: Peter Robertson. Source: Wildlife Profiles

Biology and other information

Like Jacky Lizards, Nobbi Dragons feed mainly on insects. These lizards are often seen basking on fallen logs, fence posts and rocks and are fairly familiar to people as they do not run for cover readily. It is suggested that their numbers are decreasing in some areas due to human activity (farming).

Distribution and Habitat

This lizard occurs from north-western Victoria through central New South Wales to inland and south-eastern Queensland.  Its habitat extends to drier areas than does that of the Jacky Lizard.

The distribution of the Nobbi Dragon in Victoria

The distribution of the Nobbi Dragon in Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria (

Further Reading

Cogger H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia.  Reed Books.

Wilson S. & Swan G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.

Comments (13)

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conrad 25 April, 2009 11:00
we live in the Western suburbs of brisbane and have located what we think is a Nobbi or Tommy roundhead would you care for one in a terrarium if suitable...they certainly are friendly. thanks Conrad
conrad 25 April, 2009 11:13
Why do Nobbi dragons spend long periods with their mouth fully open....pls tell us this is not a bad sign
wyn 12 May, 2009 12:29
Just got a tommy round head from a dealer(with licence).But would like to read more about these creatures. What web sites have info? we can only find Bearded dragon info.
Discovery Centre 12 May, 2009 17:26
Hi Wyn, Thanks for your question. We're just checking with our Live Exhibits department for some good resources.
Discovery Centre 13 May, 2009 15:55

The Museum's Live Exhibits department notes that information about Tommy Round Head dragons is hard to find. They suggest using Internet search engines to research both the common and latin names of the Tommy Round Head dragon and start from there.

Marco 7 April, 2010 19:08
Do you have any information about the behaviour of this species?
Discovery Centre 9 April, 2010 13:20

Hi Marco - Whilst we don't have any behavioural information specific to Nobbi Dragons, you might be interested in a general resource book such as Keeping and Breeding Australian Lizards (ed. Mike Swan). If it's wild behaviour you're interested in, a literature search for published research papers (perhaps try a university) would be your best bet.

mz.cheerleader 17 May, 2010 05:47
dis does nun but im kinda interested n lik dragons n stuff b cuz of dis website
John Baldwin 5 February, 2012 22:18
Have Nobbi Dragons (nobbi nobbi sub speciesd)ever been recorded in Viotoria? Cheers.
Discovery Centre 8 February, 2012 14:56
Hi John, as indicated in the information sheet above the subspecies Amphibolurus nobbi nobbi only occurs in specific regions of northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland and is not found in Victoria.
Doug Mannix 11 April, 2012 12:25
Hi I have seen two lizards in past weeks that look like female Nobbi Dragons and have photo of one. Taken 25 3 12 at Warrenbayne north east Victoria on the edge of the Strathbogie Ranges. Can I send you the photo for identifcation as this does not seem to be part of their normal range.
Discovery Centre 12 April, 2012 09:27

Hi Doug, Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service. We'd be very interested to see your photograph. You can attach files (including images) to the Online Form on our website.

Discovery Centre 12 April, 2012 12:54
Hi Doug, the museum has a free identification service. Simply click the Ask the Experts link at left then choose Identifications. You can attach files (including images) to the online form.
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