Lizards: Tiliqua nigrolutea

Lizards Christinus marmoratus Intellagama lesueurii Tiliqua nigrolutea Snakes Austrelaps superbus Drysdalia coronoides Notechis scutatus
distribution map
Source: ALA


Coastal form

Alpine form

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Common NameBlotched blue-tongue
FamilyScincidae (Skinks)
Genus/SpeciesTiliqua nigrolutea (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Abundance &
Distribution
Common from Sydney through ACT and Victoria to south-eastern South Australia and Tasmania.
HabitatFound in a variety of habitats from coastal heathlands to montane woodlands. I usually encounter it in the sclerophyll forests east of Melbourne.
DescriptionThese are large skinks, at around 40cm long. They generally have no distinct markings on the head but the rest of the upper body is patterned with irregular dark markings. Alpine specimens tend to be more distinctly patterned while lowland ones (particularly near the coast) are less so. Their belly is uniformly pale.
Similar SpeciesThe eastern blue-tongue Tiliqua scincoides can be found throughout the same range on mainland Australia and is similarly colored but its patterns are clearly banded as opposed to blotched. In the south-west Tiliqua nigrolutea also meets the range of the western blue-tongue Tiliqua occipitalis but this is even more vividly banded.
Behaviour &
Observations
These lizards are quite docile and will remain still when encountered (they are not easy to see in the undergrowth unless you are close). They can be found basking in open spaces, such as on roads, where they will try to look larger by flattening themselves out towards a perceived threat. If disturbed too much they may hiss (like a snake) and flash their tongue. They are omnivores, feeding on such things as low flowers, caterpillars and snails so are good to have in your garden too.
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Page Updated: 22-Apr-2015
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