List of reptiles of Australia

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The perentie (Varanus giganteus) is Australia's largest lizard.

The non-avian reptiles of Australia are a diverse group of animals, widely distributed across the continent. Three of the four reptile orders are represented: Testudines, Squamata and Crocodilia. The only missing extant order is Sphenodontia, containing the tuataras, which are endemic to New Zealand. Australia has over 860 species, a large number in comparison to other continents; for example, North America's total is about 280.[1] The most species-rich group is Squamata, the snakes and lizards. They are especially diverse in the arid areas of Australia, where other fauna are scarcer. Spinifex grass is a major habitat which allows them to remain in a relatively cool, moist area.

Australia has a large array of reptiles which can be dangerous to humans. The world's largest reptile, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), is native to the continents's north coastal area.

Australian reptile families[edit]

Testudines – 4 families
Family Common names Example species Example photo
Cheloniidae Sea turtles Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) GreenSeaTurtle-2.jpg
Dermochelyidae Leatherback sea turtle Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) LeatherbackTurtle.jpg
Chelidae Austro-American side-necked turtles Common snakeneck turtle (Chelodina longicollis) Eastern long neck tortoise - chelodina longicollis.jpg
Carettochelyidae Pig-nosed turtle Pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) Carettochelys insculpta.jpg
Squamata – 12 families
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Gekkonidae Geckos Thick-tailed gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii) Underwoodisaurus milii.jpg
Pygopodidae Legless lizards Burton's legless-lizard (Lialis burtonis) Lialis burtonis.jpg
Agamidae dragon lizards Eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata) Bearded dragon04.jpg
Varanidae Monitors or goannas Lace monitor (Varanus varius) Goanna head2.jpg
Scincidae Skinks Western blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua occipitalis) Tiliqua occipitalis.jpg
Typhlopidae Blind snakes Woodland Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops proximus) -
Pythonidae Pythons Green tree python (Morelia viridis) Gruenebaumpython4cele4.jpg
Colubridae Colubrid snakes Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) Snake browntree.jpg
Elapidae - Common death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) CSIRO ScienceImage 3990 Death Adder.jpg
Hydrophiidae Sea snakes - -
Laticaudidae Sea kraits - -
Acrochordidae File snakes Arafura file snake (Acrochordus arafurae) Arafura file snake (Acrochordus arafurae) in captivity.jpg
Crocodilia – 1 family
Family Common Names Example Species Example Photo
Crocodylidae Crocodiles Freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) Australia Cairns 18.jpg

See also[edit]

  • List of reptiles of Tasmania
  • List of reptiles of Western Australia
  • List of Australian and Antarctic dinosaurs
  • Harold G. Cogger. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney, AH & AW Reed. Revised edition, 1983. ISBN 0-589-50356-1 [1979 and subsequent editions]
  • Harold G. Cogger. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. Revised edition 2014. ISBN 9780643100350


  1. ^ Wilson, Steve; Swan, Gerry (2005). A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia. Reed New Holland.