A superb master of camouflage, the southern forest dragon's imposing appearance belies its placid nature and inactive lifestyle. Ranging from a mossy greenish-grey to mid-brown in color, it is characterized by a raised flap of skin adorned with spines on the neck which merges into a row of smaller spines along the middle of the back. The toes are long and thin and terminate in a sharp claw designed to assist with climbing. Total length is around 35 cm, over half of which is tail.
Southern forest dragons are also known as angle-headed dragons because of the shape of their head. Although appearing slow and sluggish, forest dragons can move with speed and agility when pursuing potential prey items such as beetles, cockroaches and spiders. Female forest dragons congregate at a suitable nesting site to deposit their clutch. 2-7 eggs are laid in a shallow depression dug into the soil. These hatch some 2-3 months later.