Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July Speaker's Report

Nathan Garrod, speaking on local lizards showed images of the following reptiles, and gave information about each. Many questions were asked during and after Nathan’s presentation, with members showing a high level of interest in these lovely reptiles.
(Leaf-tailed gecko (with acknowledgement to Arkive)
Leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuaris wyberba) – from Stanthorpe, this gecko is about 12 centimetres long, a mottled colour which blends with the granite on which it hunts. It can alter its colour slightly to match its surroundings, and is nocturnal.  Southern spotted velvet gecko, or Tryoni’s gecko (Oedura tryoni) – a barking gecko, ground-dwelling, lacking sticky toe-pads. It vocalises as a warning and for defence purposes. This one was seen at Girraween.
Lesueur’s velvet gecko (Oedura lesuerii), Stanthorpe – an attractively patterned small gecko of about eight centimetres. It also uses camouflage. Small geckoes may be eaten by larger species. 
Golden-tailed gecko (Strophurus taenicauda) – several subspecies are found in southern Queensland and northern NSW, where some habitats are endangered. This species has black spots on a paler coloured body, with a gold area down the tail. It has reddish orange eyes. Some geckoes can exude a sticky substance as a defence.

Burton’s legless lizard, or Burton’s snake-lizard (Lialis burtonis) – this reptile is found Australia-wide, and is now classed as a “legless gecko.” It has no eyelids but does have clear scales over its eyes which it cleans with its tongue, and its tail forms two thirds of its total length. It lays two eggs and grows to 50 centimetres long. Its pointed, wedge-shaped jaw is strong, and enables it to prey totally on other lizards.
Mararet’s Rock skink (Egernia mararetae) – these skinks are up to 20 centimetres long, and live communally in burrows in groups consisting of several generations. They share a communal toilet area.

Common striped skink or Common garden skink (Lampropholis delicata) – a striped skink which feeds aggressively on insects, spiders and other lizards. Quite common in gardens.
Cunningham's skink (acknowledgement
Cunningham’s skink (Egernia cunninghami) – a spiny skink to 30 centimetres long, variable in colour with spines on the dorsal and tail scales. It grows to 30 cm long, and lives communally with consecutive year’s off- spring amongst debris and fallen branches. It eats snails and vegetable matter, and may live for up to ten years.  

Blue tongued lizard (Tiliqua scincoides) – this large skink which grows to 35 centimetres, is common around Toowoomba. It has strong jaws so it can crack open snails. A northern subspecies grows to 65 centimetres long. It gives birth to as many as 30 live young in one or two litters per year. The young are self-sufficient from birth. 
Golden water skink or Eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii) – a large and robust skink with a golden stripe from above the eye to about the hips, a voracious predator which takes prey to half its size. 

Black rock skink (photo Museum Victoria
Black rock skink (Egernia saxatilis) – lives in specific habitat at Stanthorpe, preferring cracks in the granite boulders. It is threatened here by illegal reptile collectors.
Broad-banded sand swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii) – grows to 15 centimetres, with a banded pattern over the back and tail. Found west of St George and across the continent into West Australia, it has very smooth scales, and can swim through loose sand.

Major skink (Bellatorias frerei, syn. Egernia frerei) – a large skink to 18 centimetres, living in vine thickets and amongst rocks in subtropical areas. Eastern or common bearded dragon (Pogona barbata) – this reptile is not the frilled lizard, but does have a throat sac which is inflated and with its opened yellow mouth serves to deter predators. As an adult, it is vegetarian, eating flowers, clover and grasses. It is the largest Australian dragon, growing to 45 centimetres long. It is able to darken its skin colour to absorb or reflect heat. Juveniles differ in colour.
Southern angle-headed dragon (Hypsilurus spinipes) – from Goomburra and similar high-altitude habitats, this dragon has a crest of spines on its neck. The top and sides of the head meet to form an acute angle. They are frequently found on branches.

Nobbi dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi) – a small dragon which in the mature male has bright yellow markings along the sides of the body to attract females. Found on Table Top and also in Stanthorpe. Lace monitor (Varanus varius) – a large goanna to two metres, a scavenger and predator of any small animals. Common throughout the eastern states. Sand goanna (Varanus gouldii) – grows to 1.6 metres, living mostly on the ground. It is common in deserts but there is a community at Flagstone Creek.                                                                         
                                                              (By Francis Mangubhai and Glenda Walter)

1 comment:

Water Speakers Large Size said...

Small geckoes may be eaten by larger species. ...