Egernia striolata — Tree Skink
Also known as:
My first glimpse of a so-called Tree Skink was this near-silhouette. I could tell it was a dark, medium-sized skink, but couldn't distinguish much else until I zoomed in on the photos later. I carefully climbed up the back side of the rocky promontory that this skink was lording over in an attempt to get a closer photo, but the skink had obviously heard me coming and was nowhere to be found when I reached its level.
The next day, I had much better luck. This lizard was basking on a fairly cool morning, so I could approach more closely without spooking it.
I never saw a Tree Skink in a live tree, but I did see a number of them on fallen logs, so that sort of counts.
Mostly I saw them on rocks. They were just skittish enough (and common enough) that trying to sneak up on one for a closeup was an entertaining game.
Cogger says that Egernia striolata is a species complex that the taxonomists haven't worked out yet. Australia already has hundreds of skink species, but I guess that is just not enough.
- Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles & Amphibians of Australia, Seventh Edition
- Wilson, S. and Swan, G. 2017. A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia, Fifth Edition