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Skinks

Overview

Skinks (Scincidae) are one of five groups of lizards found in the area - the others are dragons, legless-lizards, geckos and monitors.

Generally skinks have smooth scales (in some species scales may be somewhat iridescent), often lack necks, and legs may be relatively small, reduced or lacking. Several genera have fewer than five toes (digits) on each foot. As a general rule, the longer the digits, the more arboreal the species is likely to be. In species with reduced limbs, their locomotion resembles that of snakes.

Most species of skinks have long, tapering tails, which can be shed if predators grab onto them and which can generally be regenerated, though imperfectly. Species with stumpy tails have no special regenerative abilities.

Skinks are generally carnivorous and in particular insectivorous. Typical prey includes flies, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillar and for some species may include earthworms, millipedes, snails, slugs, isopods. other lizards, and small rodents. Skinks use their tongues to sniff the air and track their prey. They can chase down prey until they corner it or manage to land a bite and then swallow it whole.

Most spend their time underground where they are mostly safe from predators, and a common characteristic is digging and burrowing. Often they dig out tunnels for easy navigation.

Currently there are about 1500 species of skink worldwide, and in Australia about 33 genera and 320 species. However taxonomic research is constantly revising the classification of species.

There is some agreement that skinks consist of three broad branches (clads): Egernia Group (including local genera Cyclodomorphus, Egernia, Liopholis and Tiliqua), Eugongylus Group (including Acritoscincus, Carlia, Menetia, Morethia, Niveoscincus, Nannoscincus, Pseudemoia and Saproscincus), and Sphenomorphus Group (Ctenotus, Eulamprus and Hemiergis).

23 species

Acritoscincus platynotus (Red-throated Skink)

Acritoscincus platynotus
Acritoscincus platynotus
Acritoscincus platynotus
Acritoscincus platynotus
Acritoscincus platynotus
Acritoscincus platynotus

Bellatorias major (Land Mullet)

Bellatorias major photo courtesy of Stephen Mahony. All rights reserved. Copyrighted image
Bellatorias major

Concinnia tenuis (Bar-sided Skink)

Concinnia tenuis
Concinnia tenuis
Concinnia tenuis
Concinnia tenuis
Concinnia tenuis
Concinnia tenuis

Cryptoblepharus pulcher (Fence Skink)

Cryptoblepharus pulcher two white stripes and large fixed spectacles
Cryptoblepharus pulcher able to move quickly on vertical
Cryptoblepharus pulcher eye covered by transparent, immoveable scale
Cryptoblepharus pulcher
Cryptoblepharus pulcher
Cryptoblepharus pulcher

Ctenotus robustus (Robust Striped-skink)

Ctenotus robustus
Ctenotus robustus
Ctenotus robustus
Ctenotus robustus
Ctenotus robustus
Ctenotus robustus

Ctenotus taeniolatus (Copper-tailed Skink)

Ctenotus taeniolatus
Ctenotus taeniolatus
Ctenotus taeniolatus
Ctenotus taeniolatus
Ctenotus taeniolatus
Ctenotus taeniolatus

Cyclodomorphus gerrardii (Pink-tongued Skink)

Cyclodomorphus gerrardii adults have a pink tongue
Cyclodomorphus gerrardii juveniles have a blue tongue
Cyclodomorphus gerrardii
Cyclodomorphus gerrardii
Cyclodomorphus gerrardii
Cyclodomorphus gerrardii

Cyclodomorphus michaeli (Mainland She-oak Skink)

Cyclodomorphus michaeli
Cyclodomorphus michaeli

Egernia cunninghami (Cunningham's Skink)

Egernia cunninghami
Egernia cunninghami
Egernia cunninghami
Egernia cunninghami
Egernia cunninghami
Egernia cunninghami

Eulamprus heatwolei (Yellow-bellied Water Skink)

Eulamprus heatwolei
Eulamprus heatwolei
Eulamprus heatwolei
Eulamprus heatwolei
Eulamprus heatwolei
Eulamprus heatwolei

Eulamprus leuraensis (Blue Mountains Water Skink)

Eulamprus leuraensis photo courtesy of Stephen Mahony. All rights reserved. Copyrighted image
Eulamprus leuraensis

Eulamprus quoyii (Eastern Water Skink)

Eulamprus quoyii pale anterior, dorsolateral stripe
Eulamprus quoyii
Eulamprus quoyii
Eulamprus quoyii
Eulamprus quoyii
Eulamprus quoyii

Lampropholis delicata (Delicate Skink)

Lampropholis delicata
Lampropholis delicata
Lampropholis delicata
Lampropholis delicata
Lampropholis delicata
Lampropholis delicata

Lampropholis guichenoti (Common Garden Skink)

Lampropholis guichenoti
Lampropholis guichenoti
Lampropholis guichenoti
Lampropholis guichenoti
Lampropholis guichenoti
Lampropholis guichenoti

Liopholis whitii (White's Skink)

Liopholis whitii
Liopholis whitii
Liopholis whitii
Liopholis whitii
Liopholis whitii
Liopholis whitii

Lygisaurus foliorum (Tree-base Litter-skink)

Lygisaurus foliorum photo courtesy of Stephen Mahony. All rights reserved. Copyrighted image
Lygisaurus foliorum

Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii (Woodland Tussock-skink)

Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii

Pseudemoia pagenstecheri (Grassland Tussock-skink)

Pseudemoia pagenstecheri
Pseudemoia pagenstecheri
Pseudemoia pagenstecheri
Pseudemoia pagenstecheri
Pseudemoia pagenstecheri
Pseudemoia pagenstecheri

Saiphos equalis (Three-toed Skink)

Saiphos equalis
Saiphos equalis

Saproscincus mustelinus (Weasel Skink)

Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus

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Conservation Level

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Invasiveness

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174 sightings of 173 species in 69 locations from 76 members
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