Guthega Skink - profile

Indicative distribution


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Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Liopholis guthega
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 30 Jun 2017
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017

Description

The Guthega Skink is a medium-sized lizard with a snout-vent length up to 11 cm. It is blackish-brown on the back and upper flanks with greyish-brown back and side stripes and numerous longitudinal rows of sharp, pale spots. The colour pattern of juveniles is often more pronounced than that of adults, with more prominent spots. The Guthega Skink is similar in appearance to Egernia whitii and Egernia montana but is distinguished by having a shorter tail and the presence of a blackish, upper side-stripe, overlain by two or three series of light grey or cream dots.

Distribution

The Guthega Skink is restricted to locations above 1600 m in the Australian Alps, in the vicinity of Mt Kosciuszko, NSW, and the Bogong High Plains, Victoria.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Guthega Skink occurs between 1600 m and 2170 m – in the coldest (winter snow cover) and some of the wettest regions on mainland Australia. Preferred habitats are usually rocky or have sub-surface boulders hidden beneath soil or thick vegetation. The NSW distribution occurs where there is a granite substrate and decomposing granite soils. Individuals have been recorded in a range of vegetation types, including open Eucalyptus pauciflora (Snow Gum) woodland with grassy or shrubby understoreys, dry tussock grassland, and tall and short heath.
  • A review of the life history of all Liopholis and Egernia species suggests that the Guthega skink would take 3–4 years to reach sexual maturity and have a lifespan of at least 8–10 years. The Guthega Skink mates in late spring or early summer and gives birth to three or four live young in February–March. Otherwise the breeding system and breeding success of the Guthega Skink is largely unknown.
  • The social structure and dispersion of the Guthega Skink is poorly known, but they are known to be colonial, and live in warren systems. It is likely that adults have considerable site fidelity frequenting a familiar burrow network and basking and foraging areas. Consequently, home ranges are likely to be small.
  • The diet of the Guthega Skink is likely to be dominated by invertebrates, which are taken opportunistically, with some plant material likely to be included.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None