■ Frilled dragons are found in Northern Australia and in New Guinea. New Guinea is the world's second largest island, located just north of Australia, and was connected to the mainland by a land bridge until approximately 6,000 yrs ago. Due to the separation of the locations, the populations of frilled dragons have diverged to some extent and display some differences in appearance.
Size - New Guinea frilled dragons are smaller, at an average maximum length around 2 feet, with the females a few inches shorter. Aussie males can easily reach up to 30 inches, with some nearing 3 ft. Female Aussies are also much larger than their NG counterparts.
Colors - Australians usually have brighter colors and more variation in body & frill colors, but both NG and Aus. can have red, orange, yellow, or black frills and males of both varieties tend to be brighter. Some varieties of Aussies can have brick red or completely brown bodies.
Markings - Australians also have distinctive white cheeks, and sometimes lose the mottled patterns on their bodies, although this is not always the case. They also can have spots/blotching on the back of their frills.
***Note: Even within the current pet trade, there are multiple forms of Aussies. Some look more similar to the New Guineas, but there are also some very high quality blood lines out there. The prices often [should] reflect these differences. Do your research on the origins of any possible purchase before buying, so you know what to expect. Ask for bloodlines, pictures, weights, and lengths of the parents. Also ask in what country the offspring and/or parents were bred.
• Is my frilly an Australian or New Guinea?
If you have to ask, it is a New Guinea. Nearly all the frillies in the pet trade originate from New Guinea. Due to the scarcity of the Australian variety outside of their home country, they are currently bred by only a few keepers in the U.S. and thus cost much more and are difficult to find. They are generally sold straight from the breeder, not through pet stores.
• Aussie/NG Crosses:
Australians and New Guineas are still the same species and will readily breed together. Crosses are becoming available more frequently than full Australians, and they are a great way to get many of the Australian qualities without the full price tag.
Some NG / Aussie differences:
Note - both types have a lot of variation.
The pictures below may not be typical for all individuals
|NG (male) - Back of frill |
Aussie (female) - Back of frill
~ Notice the leopard spots ~
|NG - Female||Aussie - Female|
~ Notice the yellow accents ~