The Lizard Island Field Guide (LIFG) can help you identify living things on the northern Great Barrier Reef. It's also relevant for the tropical Indo-west Pacific. It includes animals, plants and more obscure groups of living things from both marine and terrestrial habitats.

By early 2019, it had more than 2600 well-illustrated species and it is growing by at least 300 species per year. Thanks to decades of research at LIRS, we know that there are at least 7500 species present in the area so there's still a long way to go. The total number of species is undoubtedly much higher because some groups of life - such as beetles, which are very diverse - have still not been thoroughly studied in the area.

LIFG is a great resource for scientists, students and anyone who wants to understand what they are seeing on the island and in the waters around it. The LIFG website features:

  • Photos and information for marine and terrestrial species in the Lizard Island area
  • The ability to generate lists of species known from the area, including those not yet photographed
  • Detailed locality data for each species within the Lizard Island area and within Australia
  • Information on the level of scientific extraction of each species in the Lizard Island area
  • Habitat, life history, seasonality and behavioural information
  • Ways to distinguish species
  • Relevant scholarly references for each species
  • Links to online taxonomic databases



There are free mobile applications for both major platforms. Once downloaded, these apps provide offline access. This is handy for use in the field where internet access is poor or non-existent. You can also record your own sightings within the apps. We recommend downloading the app before coming to the island due to better internet access on the mainland.


Data for LIFG is sourced from:

  • Scientific publications, theses and reports published from research at Lizard Island Research Station
  • Photos and records provided by LIRS researchers and other island visitors
  • Atlas of Living Australia records for the area, which include records from participating museums
  • iNaturalist records for the area

Contact us

Please contact Anne Hoggett with any queries about LIFG

+ 61 (0)7 4060 3977.

LIFG has been developed in association with Gaia Guide and with the support of Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation