Moloch horridus

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Nov 09 2014

Tags: ,

Category: Australia, Oceania

1 Comment

Focal Length:60.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

This ‘grotesque Australian reptile’ – in the words of my Oxford Dictionary – is popularly called thorny devil or thorny dragon. I think its official name – Moloch horridus – sounds more horrid than the popular one.

DSC00203 - Thorny devil 2013 blogcolumn

Here’s what I read in my friend Jane’s reptile book: “the Moloch horridus is the sole member of the Genus Moloch. It lives in arid and semi-arid sandy regions. Walks very slowly with a jerky gait and tail held in upward curve. Feeds exclusively on small black ants, up to 5000 per meal.”
I like this last piece of information. It leads me to suspect that it’s the black ants that have named this reptile such. They have every reason to dread its appearance. But to us humans, isn’t this thorny devil a cute little guy?

DSC00200 Moloch horridus- blogcolumn

Photos of the week: Moloch horridus (Thorny Devil), Central Desert, Australia 2013

One comment on “Moloch horridus”

  1. Beautiful creature….thanks for the post Louk!


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