Eared Worm Lizard Project Update – so how do you tell one lizard from the next?
By Alix Baltais
To date we have conducted 2 ½ rounds of our tile grids with the other half to be completed within the week. There has been a distinct increase of diversity and numbers as the weather has warmed and our escapee rate has decreased as well with the introduction of our ‘ring-of-confidence’ to place around the tile to give just that little extra time to catch and identify our scaly creatures.
Our opportunistic species list so far consists of:
× Hemiergis peronii (Lowlands Earless Skink)
× Lerista bougainvillii (Bougainville’s Skink)
× Lapropholis guicehnoti (Pale-flecked Garden Sunskink)
× Bassiana duperreyi (Eastern Three-lined Skink)
× Ctenotus robustus (Eastern Striped Skink)
× Pseudonaja textilis (Eastern Brown Snake)
× Notechis scutatus (Eastern Tiger Snake)
We have also caught and photographed four individual Aprasia aurita. These little guys are very easy to identify when observing their head scale patterns. The figure below highlights markings and signifiers which will remain present after each skin shed. Each of the four which we have found have also had cloacal spurs present, meaning they are all males, which we have been informed is not uncommon for this time of year. The females should become more active as the weather improves.
As we have also taken the liberty to begin to name our little fellas, if you have a name suggestion for future catches send either Cath or myself an email, the winner gets the privilege of knowing they named a very cute little lizard!!!
Alix Baltais: or Cath Dickson