Spring's warmer weather is bringing our reptilian friends out of their dormant state. They emerge hungry (and sex-starved); it is the breeding season where males will be on the move in search of a mate.
This friend is a Blue Tongue lizard that has been living in my garden this week. For all we know, it may have spent the entire winter in that quiet, cosy hole.
Blue Tongue lizards are very useful because they will control snails, slugs, beetles and other garden pests. You can see the remains of 'morning tea' (a snail) in the bottom right of the photograph.
Australia Zoo and the Australian Museum have excellent information about blue tongue lizards. More information sources are included in the reference list at the end of this blog entry.
I am thrilled to see that my attempts to create habitat for native creatures must be working. "Geckos Galore" shows ways in which I have encouraged reptiles to visit my garden. "Backyards 4 Wildlife" is a very useful resource if you would like to do the same.
(Just for the record, two days before discovering the blue tongue, we had a skirmish with a Giant Centipede* in our hallway (!) which is another story - two native creature discoveries within two days! We must be doing something right.)
Not all native creatures are attractive but I feel it is still important to support our native creatures by creating mini ecosystems in our own gardens to compensate for the continuing loss of habitat caused by urban development. Our native animals are facing a difficult battle to survive due to the ignorance and carelessness of humans.
In honour of my beautiful and fascinating garden resident, I went searching for crochet patterns with a lizard theme, starting with June Gilbank's (of Planet June) animal amigurumis (available to purchase). I love the way that June imparts interesting factual information the animals in many of her pattern descriptions.
There is a real mix in this list of free patterns and patterns to buy; ranging from simple, basic shapes to highly detailed designs.
Post Scriptum: On 13 October 2014, June Gilbank released the instructions to create a Frilled Neck Lizard by adapting an existing lizard pattern. I have added the details to the list below.
Ami Amour, "Charming Chameleon" PDF pattern to purchase:
Bates, Natalie, "Lizard", free pattern:
Talli's Designs blog, 1 July 2007 <http://tallis-designs.blogspot.com.au/2007/07/lizard-pattern.html>
Blumenbunt, Raphaela, "Gecko Frecko" free pattern in German, English & Danish:
Blumenbunt web site <http://blumenbunt.blogspot.de/p/gecko-frecko.html>
Cranmer, Elizabeth, "Leftover Lizard" pattern to purchase, Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/leftover-lizard
Crochetroo, "Australian Reptiles of the Land–Bookmarks & Motifs", pattern to purchase:
Delvon, Sonea, "Crocheted Alpine Newt", free pattern, Ravelry download: <http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crocheted-alpine-newt>
Forever Stitchin, "Lizard Crochet Pattern", PDF to purchase:
Gilbank, June, "Chameleon", pattern to purchase:
Planet June web site <http://planetjune.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_17&products_id=202>
Gilbank, June, "Gecko", pattern to purchase:
Planet June web site <http://planetjune.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_17&products_id=94>
Gilbank, June, "Iguana", pattern to purchase based on the Green Iguana (native of Central & South America):
Planet June web site <http://planetjune.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_17&products_id=235>
Gilbank, June, "Frilled Lizard" pattern to purchase; this is an 'expansion pack' for the "Iguana" pattern listed above, to turn it into a Frilled Neck Lizard (native of Australia): http://www.planetjune.com/blog/frilled-lizard-crochet-pattern
Harvey, Cait, "Amigurumi Crochet Lizard", CH Design, pattern to purchase:
Horrocks, Sarah, "Chameleon Sidekick", pattern to purchase:
IlDikko, "Giorgio the Gecko Amigurumi", pattern to purchase:
Lion Brand, "Gecko Bookmark", free pattern: <http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80356AD.html>
My crocheted geckos from this pattern can be viewed at Lupey Loops "Geckos Galore".
Mosley, Beverley K., "Plurp, the Little Lizard", free Ravelry download pattern: <http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plurp-the-little-lizard>
Vitale, Mariella, Muffa Miniatures blog: http://muffa-minis.blogspot.com.au/, creator of "Teeny Tiny Chameleon" as featured on Knithacker.com <http://knithacker.com/2011/09/06/miniature-chameleon-by-muffa/>
This was so cute, I was compelled to put a link in just to have a look. Sadly, I could find no pattern on the blog or Etsy shop.
OohLookItsARabbit, "Komodo Dragon", PDF pattern to purchase, Etsy: <https://www.etsy.com/listing/98846151/komodo-dragon-digital-download-crochet>
Planet June by June Gilbank, web site: <http://planetjune.com/>
Contains many amigurumi animal patterns of both domestic and wild animals.
Princesse X, Yarn, Fabric & Stuff, "Lizard Book Mark" free pattern:
Princesse-X blog: <http://beadz-yarn-stuff.blogspot.com.au/>
Yarn, Fabric & Stuff blog archive: <http://web.archive.org/web/20091214175814/http://yarn-fabric.blogspot.com/2009/08/lizard-book-mark-applique.html>
Ravelry, search term "lizard": <http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#view=captioned_thumbs&page=1&sort=best&query=lizard>
Read, Brigitte, "Cute Chameleon", pattern to purchase:
Roman Sock web site <http://littlegreen.typepad.com/romansock/shop.html#tp>
Skene, Ellie, "Gecko", free pattern:
Cosy a Go Go blog <http://cosyagogo.blogspot.co.uk/>
Tulipsquare, "Teeny Tiny Lizards", pattern to purchase, Etsy: <https://www.etsy.com/listing/61620804/teeny-tiny-lizards-crochet-pattern-no>
Valdez, Rosaura, "Blue Lizard", free pattern in English & Spanish:
Backyards 4 Wildlife, "Attracting Wildlife to Your Garden" web page: <http://www.backyards4wildlife.com.au/index.php?page=attracting-wildlife-to-your-garden>
Blackthorn, Rhianna, "The Blue Tongue Lizard", online article, WIRES Northern Rivers, updated 14 January 2014: <http://www.wiresnr.org/bluetonguelizard.html>
This article provides a lot of very detailed information with added advice about lizards in home gardens.
Lupey Loops, "Geckos Galore", blog entry, 27 February 2014: <http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/geckos-galore.html>
This blog post about crocheted geckos contains information about Backyards 4 Wildlife and attracting lizards to your garden.
Australia Zoo, "Reptiles–Blue Tongue Lizard", online article: <http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/reptiles/lizards/blue-tongue-lizard>
Australian Museum, "Eastern Blue-tongue Lizard", online article: <http://australianmuseum.net.au/Eastern-Blue-tongue-Lizard>
Australian Museum, "Giant Centipede, Ethmostigmus rubripes", online article, updated 23 December 2013: <http://australianmuseum.net.au/Giant-Centipede>
*South Australian Museum, "Reptiles & Amphibians", web page: <http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/research/biological-sciences/reptiles-amphibians>
South Australian Museum, "South Australian Reptile Keys" web page: http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/research/biological-sciences/reptiles-amphibians/south-australian-reptile-keys
This page contains links to different 'keys' to help one identify lizard species; e.g. geckos, goannas etc. The Blue Tongue lizard is a type of skink. The key to skinks is scheduled to be posted on this page in November 2014.
*South Australian Museum, Collection Manager of the Ichthyology Section, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, personal email contact, 24 September 2014 : <http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/>
"The Giant Centipede is rare around Adelaide (I've never found one) but is frequently found in the drier parts of the state. It's a very variable species that can be slaty grey to brick red, banded or unbanded, depending upon locality.
"This species is not particularly dangerous - I was bitten by a small one and it only caused minor pain for a few hours - but large ones should definitely be treated with caution."