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Reptiles include snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodiles.

Features of reptiles:

  • Reptiles are ectothermic (their body temperature varies with the outside temperature).
  • Reptiles have scales.
  • Reptiles reproduce either by laying eggs or giving birth to live young.

Many people have a fear of reptiles, particularly snakes. However, reptiles are shy creatures and, if given the chance, will escape rather than attack. Most snakes only bite as a last resort and the majority of bites to humans are inflicted while people are trying to catch or kill them.

All native reptile species are protected within New South Wales.


Physignathus lesueurii
Male Eastern Water Dragon, resting, Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii. Image: Gareth Carter
Gareth Carter

Reptiles in Sydney.

About 40 species of reptiles are found in the Sydney region including turtles, lizards and snakes. As more and more bushland is cleared to accommodate Sydney's increasing population, several reptile species are experiencing population declines and are becoming harder to find.