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Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.More

Glossy grass skink, Pseudemoia rawlinsoni

tussock skink

The glossy grass skink is a little-known lizard that lives amongst dense vegetation, usually close to water. It is a live-bearing species which in Tasmania is known only from a few localities.

Description

Like other members of the genus Pseudemoia, the strongly marked glossy grass skink is not an easy species to identify. It gets its name from the shiny or glossy appearance of the skin. The glossy grass skink has a dark vertebral stripe and a conspicuous straight-edged white dorso-lateral stripe along the middle of scale row three (as measured from vertebral line) bordered by black lines. The species also has a distinct mid-lateral line bordered by black lines.

The dorsal colour is light to dark olive green. Frontoparietal shields are seperate. The interparietal shield is almost as large as a frontoparietal. The midbody scales are in 25-28 rows, the dorsal scales, including paravertebral scales, with three distinct, rounded keels. The prefrontals are widely separated. The Glossy Grass skink is a small species. Males have a head and body length of 49 mm, and females reach 54-63 mm.

Ecology

Glossy grass skinks live amongst rushy grasses and low dense vegetation in moist situations along the margins of swamps and watercourses. The species has also been found where dry sclerophyll forest meets wet heathland subject to frequent flooding. This little-known skink shelters in dense vegetation and in rotting logs.

Breeding

Live bearing.

Distribution

Most specimens found on mainland Tasmania have been in the north of the state around Launceston. The glossy grass skink has also been found on Cape Barren Island. The species also occurs in the high country of Victoria and southern NSW.

Status

This species appears to meet the criteria to be listed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Act.

Threats

Habitat destruction, especially grazing pressure from sheep and cattle during periodic droughts.