Photo of the week: Southern Water Skink

Photo of the week: Southern Water Skink

The southern water skink (Eulamprus tympanum) is a medium-sized skink species found in New South Wales, Victoria (incl. Bass Strait islands) and South Australia.

Typically, they have three colour bands along their body of olive-brown on top with dark flecks, a black band along its flanks with silver speckles and a silver-white underbelly. And they have a very long tail.

Southern Water Skinks usually live near freshwater, along creeks, rivers, and around wetlands, hunting for small prey such as invertebrates, tadpoles, small frogs and other small skinks.

In the South East of South Australia, the Southern Water Skink occurs in Swamp and Manna Gum Woodlands, in the Caroline Forest, Wandilo and Glencoe Forests. This species is also found close to the water’s edge around lakes including Valley, Blue and Little Blue Lakes, and possibly numerous other sinkholes in the lower south east.

One interesting feature about this skink is that by regulating her temperature presumably while basking in the sun, the female can select the sex of her young. What cues are involved in her decision making process are not well understood but an amazing capability none-the-less.

Bryan Haywood