Delicate Skink

Delicate skinks (Lampropholis delicata) are a small, plain species, often found in suburban gardens in northern and eastern Tasmania. They are an egg-laying lizard which eats insects.

Delicate skink - head
Copyright Alex Dudley


 

Description

The Delicate skink is a plain-looking skink with short limbs, a small head and a small ear. Usually rich brown above, sometimes bordered on the edges of the back by a narrow, often broken, narrow line of paler colour. There is never any indication of a vertebral stripe. A narrow black stripe runs back from the tip of the snout, through the eye, often breaking up above the ear before reforming into a dark band on the upper sides. Sides dark dorsally, becoming paler toward the belly. Uniform colouration on side of neck (mottled or striped in all other species of small Tasmanian skink) The head is generally not distinct from the neck. Cream coloured below, without any trace of orange or pink. The Delicate skink is the smallest species of skink to occur in Tasmania, with a combined head and body length of up to 45 mm and a tail length of 55mm. At hatching the young measure about 32 mm.

Ecology

Delicate skinks forage actively amongst leaf litter and grasses looking for insects and other small invertebrates. They occur most commonly in dry areas amongst open grassy woodland at low altitudes, often being present in suburban gardens. This species is a member of a complex of closely related skinks occurring from Tasmania to North Queensland which may be found in the future to be separate species, in which case the Tasmanian population may be given another name.

Breeding

Many Delicate skinks will often share an egg-laying site. A group of 53 eggs believed to be from this species was found in February 1986. These eggs were incubated at a temperature of 26-33oC. They hatched in late February and early March.

Distribution

Eastern and Northern Tasmania, Eastern mainland Australia.

Status

This species is not listed as rare or threatened on the Schedules of the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

Threats

This species is preyed on by domestic and feral cats.



Back Home