The species is a member of a diverse genus, Ctenophorus, that contains a group known as rock dragons. It can be distinguished from the others by its greatly flattened body, around 290 mm, with a snout-to-vent length of 95 mm, and a distinctly banded tail.
Ctenophorus ornatus is common on granite outcrops, where it shelters under slabs and boulders, especially in undisturbed areas. When out in the open, often basking on warm rocks, it displays a head-bobbing characteristic seen in many related species.
The distribution range of this species extends from the Goldfields to the Darling Range, and to the southern coastline. It is recorded at the Archipelago of the Recherche, offshore granite islands, and a reddish form is noted in the Murchison district.
- Craig, M.; Maryan, B. (2017). "Ctenophorus ornatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T170387A83322633. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T170387A83322633.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
- Ctenophorus ornatus at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 April 2020.
- "Occurrence records Ctenophorus ornatus". OZCAM (Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Browne-Cooper, Robert; Brian Bush; Brad Maryan; David Robinson (2007). Reptiles and Frogs in the Bush: Southwestern Australia. University of Western Australia Press. pp. 57, 144, 147, 148. ISBN 978-1-920694-74-6.
Australias most diverse group of dragons