Nature conservation

Threatened species

Mallee Slender Blue-tongue Lizard - profile

Indicative distribution

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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: Cyclodomorphus melanops elongatus
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 12 Sep 2003
Profile last updated: 01 Jun 2020


In 1995, a review of the Günther’s Skink (Cyclodomorphus branchialis) complex split this group into a number of species. One species (Spinifex Slender Blue-tongue - Cyclodomorphus melanops) had three subspecies identified, one of which (elongatus) is considered to occur in NSW. This is widely referred to as the Slender Mallee Blue-tongue Lizard. It is a medium-sized skink, with the snout-vent length about 13 centimetres and the tail almost as long again as the body The body is generally brown to olive with the ventral surface generally paler, while the tail has a yellow or orange tinge and the head is slightly darker than the body. Iris is orange with a black pupil, the mouth lining pink and the tongue blue-black.


The species is widely distributed in inland areas of all mainland states (except Victoria) and the Northern Territory, with the subspecies elongatus occurring from southern Western Australia to central Queensland. In NSW it is restricted to the far south west with records scattered from mallee areas either side of the Darling River (including the Scotia mallee and Mungo and Mallee Cliffs National Parks). Recent surveys have detected this species in spinifex occurring on rocky hillsides to the north west of Broken Hill, a range extension over 100 kilometres in NSW.

Habitat and ecology

  • In NSW, animals inhabit mallee/spinifex communities on a sandy or mixed sand/gravel substrate (plains, ridges or hillslopes). It is assumed that the species seeks refuge in vegetation clumps such as spinifex and in fallen timber and leaf litter.
  • Solitary and nocturnal, these animals can be active or opportunistic hunters, waiting in the cover of vegetation from which they ambush their prey.
  • Diet probably consists of spiders, termites, grasshoppers, cockroaches, small snails, moths, beetles, small lizards, flowers and fleshy leaves and fruit.
  • Bears live young.

Regional distribution and habitat

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


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsPooncarie-Darling Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateQLD Known None