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Call for volunteer caretakers for Maatsuyker Island

09/12/2016

The Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking volunteer caretakers for the coming two years on the remote and spectacular Maatsuyker Island in Tasmania's south-west.More

Update on work to restore access to flood-affected sites

23/11/2016

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) is continuing repair work to restore access to sites affected by the June flood event.More

Maria Island ferry service will unlock tourism opportunities

22/11/2016

The Tasmanian Government has secured a new, year-round regular passenger ferry service to Maria Island National Park, which will help the island fulfil its potential to be one of the state's best tourism attractions.More

Delicate skink, Lampropholis delicata

Delicate skink

Delicate skinks are a small, plain species, often found in suburban gardens in northern and eastern Tasmania. They are an egg-laying lizard which eats insects.

Description

The delicate skink is a plain-looking skink with short limbs, a small head and a small ear. Usually rich brown above, sometimes bordered on the edges of the back by a narrow, often broken, narrow line of paler colour. There is never any indication of a vertebral stripe. A narrow black stripe runs back from the tip of the snout, through the eye, often breaking up above the ear before reforming into a dark band on the upper sides. Sides dark dorsally, becoming paler toward the belly. Uniform colouration on side of neck (mottled or striped in all other species of small Tasmanian skink) The head is generally not distinct from the neck. Cream coloured below, without any trace of orange or pink. The delicate skink is the smallest species of skink to occur in Tasmania, with a combined head and body length of up to 45 mm and a tail length of 55mm. At hatching the young measure about 32 mm.

Ecology

Delicate skinks forage actively amongs leaf litter and grasses looking for insects and other small invertebrates. They occur most commonly in dry areas amongst open grassy woodland at low altitudes, often being present in suburban gardens. This species is a member of a complex of closely related skinks occuring from Tasmania to North Queensland which may be found in the future to be seperate species, in which case the Tasmanian population may be given another name.

Breeding

Many delicate skinks will often share an egg-laying site. A group of 53 eggs believed to be from this species was found in February 1986. These eggs were incubated at a temperature of 26-33°C. They hatched in late February and early March.

Distribution

Eastern and Northern Tasmania, Eastern mainland Australia.

Status

Secure.

Threats

This species is preyed on by domestic and feral cats.