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Western spiny-tailed skink fact file

Western spiny-tailed skink description

Also known as
Gidgee skink, gidgee spiny-tailed skink, Stoke’s egernia, Stoke’s skink.
Snout-vent length: reptiles

Western spiny-tailed skink biology

Like many skinks Western spiny-tailed skink range

While the species as a whole is found across Australia, in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia Western spiny-tailed skink habitat

The western spiny-tailed skink inhabits tall shrubland, open heath, woodland, and areas with limestone slabs, and requires hollow logs or rock crevices for shelter Western spiny-tailed skink status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List Western spiny-tailed skink threats

The western spiny-tailed skink has declined in numbers and range as a result of overgrazing, habitat clearance and crop production Western spiny-tailed skink conservation

A number of conservation efforts are underway for the western spiny-tailed skink. A partnership between WWF-Australia, government and local communities has led to two projects, ‘Back from the Edge’ and ‘Back from the Brink’, which aim to raise awareness of threatened species in the Avon River Basin region of Western Australia, and which have already discovered two new populations of western spiny-tailed skink. WWF and the local government are also sreptiles

Find out more

To find out more about the conservation of the western spiny-tailed skink see:

For more information on conservation in Australia see:



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be reptiles


The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
A projecting ridge along a flat or curved surface, particularly down the middle.
Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
Snout-vent length
A standard measurement of body length of reptiles. The measurement is from the tip of the nose (snout) to the anus (vent), and excludes the tail.
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
An area occreptiles


  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2009)
  2. J. Craig Venter Institute: Reptiles Database (October, 2009)
  3. Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. Cogger, H.G. (1996) Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Fifth Edition. Reed International, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  5. Chapple, D.G. (2003) Ecology, life-history, and behavior in the Australian scincid genus Egernia, with comments on the evolution of complex sociality in lizards. Herpetological Monographs, 17: 145 - 180.
  6. Cogger, H.G., Cameron, E.E., Sadlier, R.A. and Eggler, P. (1993) The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra. Available at:
  7. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. (2009) Egernia stokesii badia - Western Spiny-tailed Skink. In: Species Profile and Threats Database. Department of the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Available at:
  8. Duffield, G.A. and Bull, C.M. (1998) Seasonal and ontogenetic changes in the diet of the Australian skink Egernia stokesii. Herpetologica, 54(3): 414 - 419.
  9. Duffield, G.A. and Bull, C.M. (2002) Stable social aggregations in an Australian lizard, Egernia stokesii. Naturwissenschaften, 89: 424 - 427.
  10. Gardner, M.G., Bull, C.M., Cooper, S.J.B. and Duffield, G.A. (2001) Genetic evidence for a family structure in stable social aggregations of the Australian lizard Egernia stokesii. Molecular Ecology, 10: 175 - 183.
  11. Main, A.R. and Bull, C.M. (1996) Mother-offspring recognition in two Australian lizards, Tiliqua rugosa and Egernia stokesii. Animal Behaviour, 52: 193 - 200.
  12. Bull, C.M., Griffin, C.L., Lanham, E.J. and Johnston, G.R. (2000) Recognition of pheromones from groreptiles
  13. Lanham, E.J. and Bull, C.M. (2004) Enhanced vigilance in groreptiles
  14. Gardner, M.G., Bull, C.M. and Cooper, S.J.B. (2002) High levels of genetic monogamy in the groreptiles
  15. Duffield, G.A. and Bull, C.M. (1996) Characteristics of the litter of the gidgee skink, Egernia stokesii. Wildlife Research, 23: 337 - 342.
  16. How, R.A., Dell, J. and Robinson, D.J. (2003) The western spiny-tailed skink, Egernia stokesii badia: declining distribution in a habitat specialist. Western Australian Naturalist, 24(2): 138 - 146.
  17. WWF-Australia: Rural communities help preserve rare western spiny-tailed skink (October, 2009)
  18. WWF: Biodiversity conservation in the Avon River Basin, Western Australia (October, 2009)

Image credit

Western spiny-tailed skink  
Western spiny-tailed skink

© Rune Midtgaard

Rune Midtgaard


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