Gilbert’s Dragon with phoretic weevils


Dragon transportation for weevils! Well, just by coincidence. Shortly after a sudden and heavy rain at night I found this Gilbert’s dragon (Lophognathus gilberti) resting on a fallen branch about a half meter off the ground. The dragon spotted me and shifted a few centimeters to the left to obscure part of its body behind the branch. Before the lizard fled I looked more closely and realized it had two hitchhikers on its tail! They were two weevils, (family Curculionidae) clutching near the back third of the tail, hopefully a safe spot from becoming the dragon’s meal the following morning. Having experienced the strength of a weevil’s grip, they will certainly not fall off until they decide to let go.

Gilbert’s dragons (Lophognathus gilberi) and swamplands lashtails (Gowidon temporalis) are very difficult to tell apart without DNA sequencing, so I am not 100% sure about identification between these two dragons.

Photographed in situ [1]


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