I was about to head out to do the last of the Christmas grocery shopping* when I saw this Boyd's forest dragon on the patio. These lizards are normally arboreal, but this rather scrawny individual had taken a liking to the flattened packing box that I use as a door mat**.
Boyd's forest dragon is a Wet Tropics endemic. It's not a rare species, but can be difficult to spot. The dragons are most often observed on tree trunks, usually between one and two metres off the ground. Apart from having fabulous licheny camouflage, they also tend to sidle around to the other side of the tree trunk to avoid being seen.
This is only the second one that I have encountered. The other was many years ago at Lake Eacham, when a BFD mistook me for a tree and ran up my leg. (That was only slightly more bizarre than the time I was pecked on the thumb by an Australasian grebe. Good times.)
The dragon put up with the camera for a while, relying on its camouflage, which would have been somewhat more effective against tree bark. Then it scuttled off into the forest, where I failed to get a photo of it in its natural surroundings. They really are hard to spot.
* mangoes and pawpaws
** It's terribly House & Garden