Southern Water Skink

Southern water skink
Copyright: Alex Dudley
Colour photograph of Southern water skink on a rock.

The Southern water skink is only found within Tasmania on Rodondo Island, the northernmost island in Tasmania.

Description

A medium sized skink with well developed limbs. Generally golden brown on the back, sometimes tinged with green, usually with scattered black flecks. The sides of the body are black marked with gold to yellow spots, often forming a series of broken bars on the flanks. The black band on the sides of the lizard usually breaks up in the region of the hindlimbs.


The unregenerated tail is long, the same colour as the back, usually with black spots along the sides. The limbs are golden brown with black bars. This species belongs to a widespread group of Water skinks in the genus Eulamprus which include a number of threatened species on mainland Australia. The Southern water skink reaches a maximum snout-vent length of about 100 mm.

Ecology

Water skinks feed on a wide variety of invertebrates, some plant material, and occasionally small lizards will be eaten. While mainly a ground dwelling lizard, water skinks will spend a lot of time basking on and foraging around logs and tree stumps. Hollow logs and peeling bark are favoured shelter sites for this species.

Breeding

Breeding takes place in spring. This species is live bearing, giving birth to two to five young in January or early February.

Distribution

In Tasmania, it is known only from Rodondo Island. The species is found in a wide variety of better water habitats on mainland Australia from southeastern South Australia to the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, from sea level to near the summit of Mt Kosciusko.

Status

Secure.

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