Some ID help please

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by Luohanfan, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    I was bushwalking yesterday and spotted what at first i thought was a small snake,
    it was around 8inchs long, it slithered off like a snake when i got close to it, but then it un-tucked its legs and walked off once it realized i wasnt coming after it..
    I think it was trying to mimic a snake..

    It was copper in colour, and was in lawson NSW, in the blue mountains..

    it looks very similar to the one in the pic below, but i think the head was a bit more angular..
    [​IMG]
     
  2. woody101

    woody101 Very Well-Known Member

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    nice find
     
  3. Snakewise84

    Snakewise84 Well-Known Member

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    so looks like a legless
     
  4. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    It was, ive never seen one before, i should mention, i stood right next to it, and it had me fooled, i thought it was a snake, it flicked its tongue like a snake, the eyes looked like a snake to me, it was a very convincing act..

    Does anyone else know any other lizards that fit this description?
    The one above is just an example, its not the exact same type i seen, and i would like to know what it was..
    Wish id had my camera!
     
  5. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Can you please describe it in more detail?
    I'm very familiar with Blue Mountains herps but the physical description is too vague and in the absence of a photo of the actual animal, it's too hard to make a call.

    I suggest that as a course of action in this case, you look at pics of Cyclodomorphus michaeli based on behaviour, Lialis burtonis (due to the angular head that you mentioned it had), and Pygopus lepidopodus based on general appearance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  6. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    Thankyou Bushman, i had no idea where to start, the snake in the right of this pic, the very copper coloured one, could be what i seen.. but it had small legs that it dropped down after it had sat there for 45 seconds or so, it then used these to push itself along...
    Do these have legs?
    This is about as good as i can describe sorry..
    Lialis burtonis.. are they very common in this area?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure mate. The head of L. burtonis is very distinctive, so we have a contender.

    They are not common, so it's a good find, if that's what it is.
    I know of a specimen found in Bullaburra, which is very nearby, as you probably know.
     
  8. Ginsleftleg

    Ginsleftleg Not so new Member

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    Could it have been a She oak Skink. They look like a snake in the body long thin tail and little legs. Have been told they can slither like a snake but better at walking. Great looking lizard. The only ones i have ever seen was is NSW.
     
  9. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    sorry, after looking at a few more pics, and info, firstly i feel silly, and secondly i think i can rule the burtoni out, as it has no legs..
    The one i seen had some sort of legs, although very small, that tucked underneath its body, when i first saw it.
    It was not using its legs, it slithered like a snake, it stopped right beside me, then its very small legs folded down from a hidden position underneath its body..
    It used them, and a slithering action to move away,..

    The lizard i seen, had a more angular head than the first pic i posted, but not as angular as the burtoni..
    It also had a marking near the eye, a slightly thick rounded body, and wasnt very long compared to head size..

    The body was a consistent size, there was no definition between where the body ended and the tail started..

    i can rule out Cyclodomorphus michaeli.. ive seen these before, and there nowhere near what i seen,..

    Pygopus lepidopodus is very close, the eyes look the same, it has a marking near the eye, a snake shaped head, but what i seen wasnt very long and slender...

    we're close, but im not sure if we're spot on..
     
  10. bigguy

    bigguy Very Well-Known Member

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    Probably a two toed skink. They have very short legs, but can also slither like a snake. Darker colour on top, lighter underneath. 6 inchs would be a huge one. Very common in the Blue Mountains
     
  11. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    What species (scientific name please) are you talking about Bigguy?
     
  12. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    similar in shape, to the two toed (Hemiergis quadrilineata??), but it was a consistent copper colour from what i could see, and the head was more snake like, the head shape of a skink is very familiar, and this didnt look much like a skink at first glance..
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  13. Jonno from ERD

    Jonno from ERD Very Well-Known Member

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    Saiphos equalis - although I concede I am only 90% sure. It isn't a Pygopod (Burtons, Scaly Foot etc).
     
  14. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    If it's a two toed skink I'll eat my hat!

    Try looking at three-toed skinks Luohanfan. i.e Hemiergis decresiensis or Saiphos equalis
    Both have three toes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  15. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    Its not either of those ones sorry..
    The pic below, is the same colour, body length/width, just the head is different, it flicked its tongue like a snake, slithered like a snake, looked like a snake, until its legs folded down from under it...
    [​IMG]

    Sorry guys, bit hard without a pic of actual lizard, i appreciate your help..
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  16. giggle

    giggle Suspended Banned

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    It could only be a two toed or three toed skink couldn't it? None of the other legless types have legs still. Did it have both front and back legs? Or just back legs? The common scaly foot looks most like a snake, in my opinion... but it has no legs.
     
  17. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    I like your line of inquiry Giggle.

    Defensive behaviour screams Cyclodomorphus michaeli to me. It also has minute legs and makes calculated exits.
    Luohanfan, can we examine this possibility again? Don't put too much importance on colouration.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  18. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Luohanfan, what species are you showing us pics of at the beginning of this thread and more recently?

    Are you sure that the animal you saw is not Hemiergis decresiensis? This species is the closest fit to your description from what I can gather.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  19. Luohanfan

    Luohanfan Active Member

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    Hemiergis decresiensis is close, but my attention was drawn straight to this lizards head by its flicking tongue, and the head ust doesnt look the same..
    The pics i posted are a "slow worm" i found while searching google..

    Cyclodomorphus michaeli is very close, and may be what i saw, only difference from pics i have seen is colour, and they seem to long in the body..

    Ill just have to keep an eye out and see if i can get pics next time..
    Thanks again for the help guys..
     
  20. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure Luohanfan. I'm happy to help.

    The tongue flicking strongly suggests C. michaeli. Colour is not a reliable indicator, as it often varies. I've seen a very dark brown specimen in the Blue Mountains.

    Although we can't get a positive ID without the specimen or a photo, at least we've narrowed it down; unless of course it's a new species.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
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