Results 1 to 6 of 6
06-08-2009, 03:12 AM #1
Photo guide to Australian Lizards -- pt2
LOG IN TO CLOSE THIS AD
SCINCIDAE -- Skinks
This is the most diverse and abundant family of reptiles in Australia. Members of this family have adapted to virtually all habitats and may be found from tide pools to alpine areas. They range from a tiny islet south of Tasmania up through the Torres Strait Islands north of Queensland. These lizards seem to be everywhere with many living right in the suburbs. I see 6 species in my garden. As with most Australian lizards, skinks are the most numerous in dry, inland habitats. Many of the desert skinks are burrowers and therefore hard to find. Others live within clumps of spinifex and often are only glimpsed as they race from clump to clump. I think that the rock dwelling species are probably the easiest to see well and photograph.
This post and the next will include photos of skinks only.
ACRITOSCINCUS -- "Three-lined Skinks". A genus of 3 cool-adapted species.
Red-throated Skink (Acritoscincus platynotum) -- I see this species sometimes near Wollongong, NSW, but it seems more common in drier mountain forests. It was very common at Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, on a visit in Nov07.
Western Three-lined Skink (Acritoscincus trilineatus) -- This lizard was photograhed near Perth, WA. I also have seen the species in the southwest corner of WA.
Eastern Three-lined Skink (Acritoscincus duperreyi) -- I have only seen this species in TAS but it is possible to find it even here in the Wollongong area. Last summer, Henry (Levislevis) photographed an Eastern Small-eyed Snake eating one on the road at night near Dharawal, not far from Wollonong, NSW.
ANEPISCHTOS -- a monotypic genus.
Highlands Forest Skink (Anepischtos maccoyi) -- this lovely little skink lives where it is cool and damp. It is a common but secretive resident of rainforest gullies near Wollongong, NSW.
ANOMALOPUS -- "Worm Skinks". A genus of 7 species of burrowers. They sometimes can be found on the road at night.
Two-clawed Worm-Skink (Anomalopus leuckartii) -- I have see two of these now in the Warrumbungles, NSW. They have thickened scales on the snout for digging.
Three-clawed Worm-Skink (Anomalopus verrauxii) -- The only photo that I have is of this DOR animal from the Brisbane area, QLD.
CALYPTOTIS -- a genus of 5 species that shelter in damp locations.
Scute-snouted Calyptotis (Calyptotis scutirostrum) -- So far, this single animal is the only representative of the genus that I have encountered. It was from the hills near Brisbane, QLD.
CARLIA -- "Rainbow Skinks". A genus of 32 species of skinks. This is one of my favourite genera of skinks with brightly coloured males during the breeding season. These are the most diverse in far north Queensland (FNQ) where a number of species may occupy the same habitat. Some members of this genus are small, secretive lizards that live within leaf litter. These skinks tend to be less colourful than their larger relatives that bask in open areas.
Most Carlia will "tail wag" when they are alarmed. The C. longipes and C. rhomboidalis in the following photos were exhibiting this behaviour:
Carlia sp. -- I photographed the following two skinks at Bowling Green NP a little south of Townsville, QLD. The male was breeding colours but I still cannot positively identify it. To me, it looked a little like small version of C. folorium. Someone else suggested that it was a C. laevis.
Carlia folorium -- A secretive and drab species of Carlia.
Jewelled or Lined Rainbow Skink (Carlia jarnoldae) -- Males of this species are particularly colourful. Skink 3 is a female from Chillagoe and Skink 4 is a non-breeding male from Bowling Green NP.
Closed-litter Rainbow Skink (Carlia longipes) -- This is a common species in FNQ and often seen basking on rocks or logs along the forest edge. It was particularly numerous at Daintree and Cooktown. Skink 2 is a female and Skink 6 illustrates the refractive nature of the scales.
Shaded-litter Rainbow Skink (Carlia munda) -- I have seen this species in the Pilbara of WA as well as in FNQ.
Open-litter Rainbow Skink (Carlia pectoralis) -- Skinks 1 and 2 are females from Bowling Green NP. I am not certain about the identity of Skink 3 (male) from Chillagoe. It may be a male C. vivex.
Blue-throated Rainbow Skink (Carlia rhomboidalis) -- these beautiful skinks are found in tropical, central QLD. The males have bright blue and orange throats during the breeding season. Skink 1 is a male and Skinks 2 and 3 are females. All were from Bowling Green NP at the north end of its distribution. Many Carlia have transparent lower eyelids and this can be seen in the second photo below.
Chillagoe Litter Skink (Carlia rococo) -- This species of skink has a tiny range and is only known from the Chillagoe area (QLD). I visited the site in summer and found that these little skinks did not emerge from the rocks until dusk. At that time, they suddenly became active and seemed to be everywhere on the rock surfaces. Earlier in the day, I was afraid that I might not find it since I had spent hours walking around the rocks with no sightings.
Black-throated Rainbow Skink (Carlia rostralis) -- This skink seems to replace C. longipes to the south. It was common in rocky areas like Murray Falls SP and Jourama Falls NP, QLD. Skinks 4 and 6 are females.
Red-throated Rainbow Skink (Carlia rubrigularis) -- This is the abundant skink in rainforest areas of FNQ. It is social and many are often seen sunning themselves on the same log (along with Lampropholis coggeri). These groups will periodically shift to follow a patch of sunlight. Skink 5 is a female and skink 6 is a juvenile.
Robust Rainbow Skink (Carlia schmeltzii) -- These are skinks with fairly thick bodies. Skink 1 was from Bowling Green NP, skink 2 from Bowen, QLD, and skink 3 from Cape Hillsborough NP, QLD. Skink 2 was actively foraging and it would dive beneath the leaves, rustle around a little then resurface before repeating the process. Sometimes it would emerge while holding arthropods such as small moths.
Black Mountain Skink (Carlia scirtetis) -- This Carlia has a tiny distribution on black boulders a little south of Cooktown. It has the same range as the Black Mountain Gecko. These skinks were abundant on the rocks and exhibited curiosity. They would cautiously approach me while I watched them and this made photography much easier.
Brown Bicarinate Rainbow Skink (Carlia storri) -- So far, I have only seen these two individuals. Both were seen once despite multiple subsequent searches. They lived on rocks just above the high tide line at Mission Beach, QLD.
Lively Rainbow Skink (Carlia vivex) -- A nicely coloured skink when in breeding colours. Skinks 1 and 2 are males. These were common on rocks near Bowen, QLD.
Sun-loving Litter Skink (Carlia zuma) -- A skink with a tiny distribution near MacKay, QLD. These were photographed at Cape Hillsborough NP.
COERANISCINCUS -- "Snake-tooth Skinks". This genus includes two species. One lives in the tropical rainforests of FNQ and the other lives in subtropical rainforests in SE QLD. I have seen both species but only have photos of one.
Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink (Coeraniscincus reticulatus) -- Stewart, Lee (both forum members) and I encountered 3 of these odd skinks one afternoon last summer while walking up a steep track in the rainforest of SE QLD. The lizards were crossing the trail at the time. These skinks live in damp leaf litter and prey upon earth worms.
CRYPTOBLEPHARUS -- "Snake-eyed Skinks". This genus contains 25 species after the huge re-classification that occurred last year. These skinks have flattened bodies and often are seen on trunks of trees, rocks or houses.
Elegant Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus pulcher) -- common along the coast of NSW through QLD. These photos are from Wollongong and the Warrumbungles, NSW.
Wall Skink (Cryptoblepharus virgatus) -- common in FNQ. These shots were of lizards at Mission Beach.
Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus) -- these lizards were photograhed at Arkaroola (northern Finders Ranges, SA) and Mutawintji NP, NSW.
Buchanon's Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii) -- these lizards were photograhed near Perth, WA. They were abundant in some places such as King's Park right in the city.
Russet Snake-eyed Skinks (Cryptoblepharus ustulatus) -- these little skinks were common in rocky gullies near water in Karijini NP, WA.
Coastal Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis) -- this species is abundant around tide pools and vegetation near the water's edge in tropical Queensland. It seems odd to see skinks foraging for marine invertebrates.
CTENOTUS -- "Striped Skinks". This is the largest genus of reptiles in Australia with 98 species. They are the most diverse in the arid zone especially where there is spinifex. These skinks are usually hard to see well. Often, I see them darting from one spinifex clump to another but rarely with stops in the open. Many of the species are variable, not well known and often impossible to identify with certainty from photographs alone.
Black-backed Yellow-lined Ctenotus (Ctenotus eutanius) -- This individual looks like the photo in Wilson and Swan's field guide so I assume that it is this species. The skink was found at Chillagoe, QLD.
West Coast Laterite Ctenotus (Ctenotus fallens) -- These skinks where photographed near Lancelin and Kalbarri, WA.
Stout Ctenotus (Ctenotus herbetior) -- I am tentatively identifying this skink as herbetior based on the 5 dorsal stripes. It lived in spinifex on a red dune near Windorah, Qld.
Red-legged Ctenotus (Ctenotus labillardieri) -- This species is an easy one to recognize. These photos were from the Margaret River area and Stirling Ranges, WA.
Leonhardi's Ctenotus (Ctenotus leonhardii) -- I am basing this identification on the 3 dark dorsal stripes. The lizards were photographed near Toompine and Windorah, QLD.
Ctenotus olympicus -- This lizard was found in the bleak, barren country of northwestern NSW ... same habitat as that of the gecko Lucasium byrnei.
Royal Ctenotus (Ctenotus regius) -- This skink was found on a red dune near Windorah, QLD.
Eastern Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus) -- This common skink along east coast of NSW and QLD. It is easy to recognize there where there are few other Ctenotus skinks. In the interior, however, I am never confident with its identification.
Ctenotus sp. -- These skinks were from rocky hillsides in the Gawler Ranges NP, SA. Three species of striped skinks are reported from the area. I suspect that they are C. robustus but I am not certain.
Ctenotus sp. -- This big skink was found on a red dune near Windorah, QLD. It really does not look like any of the Ctenotus photos that I have seen from the area so I don't know what it is. One of the forum participants suggested to me that it was a weakly marked C. leonhardii but it seemed to me to be too big.
Barred Wedgesnout Ctenotus (Ctenotus schomburgkii) -- This species was common on dunes near Windorah, QLD.
Massive Gibber Ctenotus (Ctenotus septenarius ) -- This lizard was photographed on the edge of the Eyrean Basin west of Windorah, QLD. The species lives in broken country where there is little vegetation. My photo is poor but the species is one of the more brightly coloured Striped Skinks.
Stern Ctenotus (Ctenotus severus ) -- I think that this carnivore was severus. The skink ran from a shrub practically to my feet where it attacked a slightly smaller Ctenotus. The two rolled out of sight for a few minutes. When they reappeared, I was very surprised to see that the smller of the two lizards had been killed. The skinks lived on a clay pan south of Leonora, WA.
Ctenotus spaldingi -- I am not certain but think that this lizard is spaldingi. It was photographed in Chillagoe, QLD.
Copper-tailed Skink (Ctenotus taeniolatus) -- This species is the common Ctenotus near the east coast of Australia. It is widespread and easy to recognize.
Southern Mallee Ctenotus (Ctenotus atlas) -- The pattern is similar to that of the Copper-tailed Skink without the nicely coloured tail. This skink was photographed at Lake Gillies, SA.
Eastern Barred Wedgesnout Ctenotus (Ctenotus strauchii) -- This lizard was photographed at the same site as the C. olympicus above in barren, northwestern NSW.
CYCLODOMORPHUS -- "Slender Blue-tongued Skinks". A genus of 9 species.
Pink-tongued Skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii) -- These lizards were from wet forest near Brisbane, QLD. I usually only encounter these on the road at night.
Mainland She-oak Lizard (Cyclodomorphus michaeli) -- I located a place in the hills near Wollongong, NSW, where I can see this lizard in late spring and early summer. After that, they just disappear. The area is thick with spike-rush (Lomandra sp.).
EGERNIA -- This genus was recently split and now only includes 15 species. I will list the new splits with this genus since none of the field guides include the recent taxonomical changes.
Cunningham's Skink (Egernia cunninghami) -- These are big, beautiful skinks that are widespread in southeastern Australia. Skinks 1 and 4 were from the New England Highlands, NSW, are particularly nice. Skinks 2 and 3 are from coastal Royal NP, NSW, and skinks 5 and 6 are from the Blue Mountains, NSW.
Goldfield's Crevice Skink (Egernia formosa) -- A pretty skink from the Pilbara, WA.
Major Skink (Egernia frerei but now, Bellatorias frerei) -- Common in coastal QLD and northern NSW. These are very shy skinks that are hard to photograph. Skink 1 was from Mission Beach, QLD. Skink 2 (juvenile) and 3 were from Cape Hillsborough, QLD.
Kaputar Skink (Egernia sp.) -- Lives only on rocks at the summit of Mt. Kaputar, NSW.
Western Mourning Skink (Egernia luctosa but now, Lissolepis luctuosa ) -- I have only seen this one partially aquatic skink along the banks of the Margaret River, WA.
King's Skink (Egernia kingii) -- These skinks are common along coastal southwestern WA. This one was from Albany.
Land Mullet (Egernia major but now, Bellatorias major) -- These biggest of all skinks are common in the subtropical rainforests of northeastern NSW and southeastern QLD.
Centralian Ranges Rock-Skink (Egernia margaretae but now, Liopholis margaretae) -- I have only seen this one at Arkaroola, SA. Unfortunately, it was below a cliff edge and I could not approach it for better photos.
Eastern Crevice Skink (Egernia mcpheei) -- These are common rock-dwelling skinks at Girraween, QLD.
Eastern Ranges Rock-Skink (Egernia modesta but now, Liopholis modesta) -- I saw several of these for the first time this year at the southern end of the New England Highlands, NSW.
Southwestern Crevice Skink (Egernia mcpheei) -- These lizards were photographed at Margaret River, WA. I have also seen them at Cape Le Grand, WA.
Southwestern Rock-Skink (Egernia pulcher but now, Liopholis pulcher) -- I only have photos of one of these but they were common at the Stirling Ranges, WA.
Black Rock Skink (Egernia saxatilis) -- Skink 1 was from the isolated population at the Warrumbungles, NSW. The other two skinks were photographed near Wollongong, NSW. These skinks are common in some areas.
Gidgee Skink ( Egernia stokesii) -- This is a rock dweller.
Tree Skink ( Egernia striolita) -- This skinks may be found on rocks as well as trees. Skinks 1 and 2 are distinctively marked animals from the Gawler Ranges, SA. Skink 3 was on a log near Goondiwindi, QLD. Skink 4 was near Cunnamulla, QLD. Skink 5 was from Mt. Kaputar, NSW, and skink 6 lived on rocks at Mutawintji, NSW.
White's Skink (Egernia whitii but now, Liopholis whitii) -- a common skink in southeastern Australia. When I look at photo 5, I always think of the "Life's Good" advertisement on TV ... maybe we are not the only one's who feel like that.
Last edited by moloch; 06-08-2009 at 03:32 AM.
06-08-2009, 03:39 PM #2
Thanks again for this great post!
Found a lot of skinks when in australia, but never got to naming them. Just to many species that look alike
I vote sticky again!
06-08-2009, 09:46 PM #3
Wow thanks again for this post. Love the Egernia!
Specializing in Captive Bred Geckos
06-09-2009, 08:07 AM #4
Another fantastic post! Make it directly a sticky as well?
I'm missing pics of Egernia kintorei, not found them thus far?Best Regards,
Jeroen van Leeuwen
G. vittatus, G. albogularis fuscus, G. ocellatus, G. caudiscutatus, S. roosevelti, S. elegans, L. williamsi, P. robertmertensi, P. klemmeri, L. lugubris, H. typus, G. mutilata
06-09-2009, 10:38 AM #5
It so nice to see them in their native habitat. They're such pretty animals, yet most people tend to ignore them for their more flashy cousins.
A friend in Adelaide loves to taunt me by 'complaining' about the skinks digging up her flowerbeds, knowing full well I'd give anything to have even one living in my yard.
06-10-2009, 03:45 AM #6