Thursday, May 31, 2007

About yesterdays Lizards...

These little lizards are called 'skinks'. Here in Australia we have many many types of skinks and I havent been able to identify exactly which sort of skink these are. They are about 10cm long. In my gardens there are literally dozens of them meandering thru the mulch or climbing the trees seeking insect prey, or just sunning themselves on rocks.

I was working in the garden when the rather vigourous rustling of leaf litter caught my attention. Looking for the source of this sound I noticed the slightly larger of these two skinks had grasped the other and was dragging it away. This made me quite curious as Id never observed this before, and I doubted they ate each other.

I followed them 10 yards or so, till we reached the gravel path near some large stone blocks that are waiting to be used in the garden. There the skink doing the dragging wrapped himself around the female and the pair became motionless. Then I knew for sure what was happening, and went for the camera! They werent fussed at all with me getting within a foot of them to take this shot.

They stayed together for a good 10 minutes or so when I decided Id better get back to work, so Im not sure what happened after I left them to it.

She will lay her eggs in the garden somewhere, just under the mulch or shallowly in the soil itself, and they will hatch in the spring.

They also drive my housecats insane when they sun themselves on the brick window ledge. Hours of entertainment for all!

My sincere apologies to those that found them hard to look at, creepy or nightmarish. I hadnt considered that some would react that way. I wasnt crazy about free-range lizards when I first arrived here, but since getting to know them better, Id miss them very much if they no longer raced through my gardens.

1 comment:

CS said...

Great photo! I don't find them creepy at all - but the, I have a pet snake so I'm probably not the best measure of normal.