Lizards in our area – do you know the difference?


There are hundreds of unique reptiles that call Australia home, but did you know that there are at least twelve different species of lizard call Anglesea home?

We asked GORCC Education Coordinator Pete Crowcroft (Possum Pete) to share his thoughts and studies on three common lizard that live in Anglesea – the Blotched Blue-tongue lizard, Southern Water-skink and the Jacky Lizard.

Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard

Botched Blue-tongue lizard
Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard. Drawing: Kaye Traynor

The Blotched Blue-tongue Lizards are common visitors to our gardens, and are much loved by children and adults alike.

Blue-tongues rely on the sun for warmth and have started to hibernate under dense, leaf litter or inside hollow logs during winter. They will begin to emerge in mid-to-late spring and seek out the warmth of the sun and rocks.

Facts:

  • Generally placid, but have a loud warning hiss with an impressive display of their blue tongues.
  • The Blotched Blue-tongue is distinguished from the Easter Blue-tongue by having blotches on its skin instead of stripes.
  • They give birth to live young

Southern Water-skink

Less common than the larger Blue-tongue Lizards, these reptiles are easily distinguished. Southern Water-skinks have been known to take to the water when disturbed.

Facts:

  • Olive brown colouring with a black line along the sides of the body
  • White, brown and black flecks cover the sides
  • Commonly found alongside creeks and waterways
  • Long tail
southern water-skink
Southern Water-skink. Drawing: Kaye Traynor

Jacky Lizard (or Tree Dragon)

Catching a glimpse of these guys is incredibly difficult rare, with the Jacky Lizard dashing across the footpath or hiding in the vegetation.The Tree Dragon is a popular pet species.

  • Tree Dragons have larger, more powerfully developed limbs and use them rapidly when disturbed
  • They lay 3-9 eggs each summer in a small burrow
  • Gender thought to be determined by burrow temperature
Jacky Lizard
Jacky Lizard. Drawing: Kaye Traynor

Although Possum Pete loves all animals, the Blue Tongues have been dubbed one of his favourite reptiles as they are a common and friendly visitor to our coastal gardens.

What’s your favourite reptile? Let us know in the comments below. 

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