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Weasel ?

November 22, 2015

Weasel SkinkWeasel Skink 2Another photo contribution from the Hubbard family – this time it’s a Weasel Skink (Saproscincus mustelinus). It has interesting colouring with pale and darker flecks, giving it a pixellated effect. Its main distinguishing features are a white spot behind its eye and an orangey stripe on its side between hip and tail.
The Weasel Skink grows up to 65mm (snout to vent) with a fairly long tail. It is quite secretive, usually keeping under cover of leaf litter or fallen timber. It raises its body temperature by contact with its surroundings rather than basking directly in the sun, as many other skinks do.
Although the skink’s distribution covers much of eastern Victoria, this one was actually found in David’s garden in Seville. We would be interested to know of any reports in the Strath Creek/Flowerdale area.
So, why ‘weasel’? The Museum Victoria’s Discovery Centre offers the following: “Apparently the ‘weasel’ came about because the colour, size and shape of the body is similar to that of a weasel. A weasel … has a long slender body, … a small triangular shaped head with pointed snout and short legs, like the lizard. The colour of both is similar – light brown on top and white underneath … Sometimes some imagination is used when naming animals!” Indeed!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2016 1:34 pm

    And this one looks like a gravid female, ready to lay a clutch of eggs.

    • February 5, 2016 2:07 pm

      Thanks for pointing it out, Bert – we hadn’t noticed the swelling. We read in Wilson & Swan that the clutch is just 2 eggs, often laid communally.

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