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Shingleback Lizard

Shingleback lizard on ground with blue tongue sticking out
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Scientific Name: Tiliqua rugosa

Size: Snout Vent Length 300 mm (females slightly larger than males)

What does it look like?

The Shingleback Lizard has a robust, rough-scaled body, with large, triangular head, short, rounded tail, short limbs and large blue tongue. Colour variable, subject to range, from orange-brown to dark brown or blackish above, often with paler head, and with paler whitish or yellowish blotches. Paler below with darker blotches.

Where is it found?

Occurs from coastal western and south-western WA, through southern SA and northern Vic, to central and western NSW and southern Qld. Absent from eastern and south-eastern coasts. Four subspecies within the currently adopted classification: T. r. aspera, southern SA, Vic, NSW and southern Qld; T. r. konowi, Rottnest Island, WA; T. r. palarra, Shark Bay area, WA; T. r. rugosa, south-western WA.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Shingleback Lizard is found in open areas in drier forests, woodland, shrubland and grassland in semi-arid regions, where it shelters during the night under rocks or logs, or in dense leaf litter or other similar groundcover. Terrestrial, feeding mainly on vegetable matter, including tender leaves and shoots, and flowers near or on the ground, supplemented with range of invertebrates, including snails and some carrion. Viviparous, with 1–4 live young in a litter. When threatened, tends to flatten body, open its wide mouth and stick out its large blue tongue.

Interesting facts

Alternate Names: Shingleback; Shingle-back; Stumpy-tail; Stumpy-tailed Lizard; Boggi; Sleepy Lizard; Bobtail Lizard; Two-headed Lizard; Pinecone Lizard 

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A Naturalist's Guide to the Reptiles of Australia (2nd Edition) cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia

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