Shingleback Skink

Shingleback Skink Tiliqua rugosa

Type of Animal:

Desert grasslands, dune areas, open country w/ lots of grasses/leaf litter, semiarid/arid plains, semiarid/arid areas, coastal areas, shrubland, semiarid woodlands, chaparral, forests, roadsides

W, S, C, & E Australia

Heavily armored lizard w/ broad triangular head/bright blue tongue, short stumpy tail very similar in shape/appearance to head, Western subspecies brownish-red sometimes w/ yellow spots/white bands, Rottnest Island subspecies dark gray w/ tiny white specks, Eastern subspecies solid brown

Snails, insects, insect larvae, carrion, vegetation, foliage, flowers, petals, leaves, herbs, seedlings, blossoms, legumes, stems, sausage, chicken, fruit, vegetables, greens, mice, dog food, cat food, berries, fungi, chicks, earthworms, eggs, slugs, spiders, scorpions

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, wildlife centers, herpetoculture, & breeders

Monogamous pairs or solitary

Additional Info:

Group: Pair
Male: 1.32-1.54 lbs
Female: 1.76-1.98 lbs
Young: 7.05 oz

3-5 months 

Life Span:
20-35 years

Body Length:
Male: 10 in
Female: 12 in
Young: 8.6 in

Tail Length:
Male: 4-6 in
Female: 5-6 in

Main predators are raptors, kookaburras, monitor lizards, dogs, cats, foxes, snakes, dingos, & quolls.
Short tails hold fat reserves lizard uses when hibernating.
They’re ovoviviparous, giving birth to 1-4 live young. Both parents sometimes take care of young for 1st 3 months of life & some young stay for as long as 6 months.
Sexually mature at 1.5-2 years old.
Extremely territorial, especially males, sometimes fighting to the death.
These skinks are slow-moving.
Active during the day (diurnal).
Mating very aggressive, w/ male biting female sometimes causing scale damage/light bleeding.
They spend all their time on the ground.
Like most lizards, they shed their skin in pieces.
They hibernate in cooler periods.
Sometimes accidentally killed by lawnmowers.

Fun Fact(s):
Also called Shingleback Lizard, Stump-Tailed Skink, Two-Headed Skink, Sleepy Lizard, Pinecone Lizard, Bobtail, Shingleback, Bobtail Skink, & Stumpy among others.
Once rumored to be poisonous/venomous due to blue tongue.
Appearance of having 2 heads confuses predators. Other defense mechanisms are showing dark blue tongue as well as having armored scales. They may bite as last resort.
Make good pets due to docile temperament.
Unlike many skinks, these lizards can’t shed their tails.

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