Garden Skink Lampropholis guichenoti

Lizards of Victoria series

Identification

The Garden Skink, Lampropholis guichenoti, is dark grey, with a darker stripe commencing in front of the nostril, continuing through the eye and above the ear onto the tail. A broad dark vertebral stripe commences about the level of the forelimbs and continues onto the tail. It has a snout vent length of up to 40 mm.

The Garden Skink, Lampropholis guichenoti

Garden Skink
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.

Distribution and habitat

The Garden Skink is the most common skink found in suburban gardens around Melbourne. It is found over most areas of the state except the semi arid northern and western regions. It lives in a variety of treed habitats.

Biology

Active by day, this is a sun loving species which feeds on small invertebrates. Females lay from 2-6 eggs in a communal nest which can contain up to 250 eggs. Females often produce more than one clutch per season.

Further Reading

Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.

Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.

Comments (136)

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Sylvia Ranson 23 December, 2010 13:37
My children want to know the life expectancy of garden skinks. Does it vary with climate (we're in Hobart, Tasmania)? Thanks for your time. Sylvia Ranson
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Sally Ingram 19 January, 2011 18:25
Hi there, Could you describe the eggs of this skink please. I have found a clutch of eggs in some soil under a garden statue that are about the size of peas, but oval.
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Ella Simpson 13 October, 2013 09:31
They are white that are about 1 cm long and have a glow to them in the sun
Melisse 11 November, 2013 10:56
Wow - what a thrill!
Discovery Centre 22 January, 2011 12:04
Hi Sally - Unfortunately lizard eggs aren't distinguishable by species from just looking at them. About all you can tell is that they come from a larger or smaller species. You can usually tell gecko eggs, as they have a harder shell & geckoes only a two eggs at a time.
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Mihir Vyas 15 February, 2014 11:07
Hi I just have find out that I have this lizard in my kitchen unfortunately there is 2 of them underneath my electic gas. I just brought my newborn home as well. Is that any risk to him???? Hiw can I get rid of those lizards from my apartment. .. :(
Evan Sinclair 19 February, 2011 11:05
What can I do to get skinks in my back garden? I have only seen them a couple of times. What do skinks eat and how can I make an environment for them?
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Discovery Centre 21 February, 2011 14:54

Hi Sylvia,

The rule of thumb with skinks seems to be:  the bigger they are, the longer they live.  Garden skinks have a short life span of only a few years, whereas somewhat larger varieties live six to 10 years, and the largest skinks can live 20 years or longer.  The colder climate does slow their growth rate and results in a slightly longer life span. 

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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2011 08:21

Hi Evan, providing good habitat for your skinks is the best way to encourage them into your backyard. Giving them shelter to retreat to (such as rocks to hide under / between) and places to bask in the sun close to these retreats is ideal. They feed on invertebrates from around the garden so ensuring you don’t spray too many pesticides around the garden is also important. Another factor that may help encourage skinks into your garden is to consider if there are any pets such as cats and dogs who quite enjoy chasing skinks. Keeping these animals away from the habitat you create will be important to help the skinks establish into your garden.

All the best with making a comfortable home for the local residents.

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Joana Hicklebottom 17 April, 2011 12:17
Hey I have a little garden skink as my pet but I am unsure what it eats. I have put some cabbage, carrot, silverfish, ants and it's not eating. Is it because it is scared or it just eats when I am not there with her?
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Robin 25 November, 2012 15:31
I've watched my Garden Skinks catch and devour live Slaters, ie Skinks are those flat, grey creatures 1cm long with many legs. You could also Google SLATERS and WHAT TO FEED GARDEN SKINKS? They are beautiful creatures.
Brianna 18 March, 2014 07:22
They love cockroach small and big mothes they also like flyes they don't really like fruits and things as they are carnivores witch only eat meat
Rowena Trafford-Jones 16 August, 2011 21:05
Could you describe the communial nest in more detail? What is it's typical location and appearance? Is it guarded or tended by the skinks?
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Discovery Centre 19 August, 2011 15:15
Hi Rowena, there is some good information on the Monash University website on Communal nesting in reptiles and amphibians should provide further answers to your questions.
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Coral Baragwanath 4 September, 2011 15:00
I have found a white puddle of nest under where rotting wood was lying , and i am wondering if it might be a skinks nest or something else it is aproximatley. 10cm diamenter
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Discovery Centre 4 September, 2011 15:18
Hi Coral, If you send us a photo of the nest, we can certainly try to identify it for you.
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Blake 9 November, 2011 18:55
How do you encourage skinks to come into my garden
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Discovery Centre 12 November, 2011 13:18
Hi Blake, Thank you for your question. Evan posted a very similar question in March 2011. Please see our response to his question above.
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aly 22 December, 2011 17:06
i have found 2 skinks or lizards i cannot figure out if thry are boy or girl skink or lizard or what type they are i have looked every where please help me!!!
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Kirsty 20 September, 2013 16:32
Females have a yellow, nearly orange-tinted underside and males have a greyish
Discovery Centre 23 December, 2011 11:47
Hi Aly, it can be difficult to determine the gender of lizards as they don't have external genitals. In terms of identifying the species if you take some good quality images of the lizards and email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au our Herpetologist may be able to name them.
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georgie 11 January, 2012 12:45
Hi, I recently aquired 3 garden skinks and are wondering if the rule of "female= white belly and male=yellow is true and if there are any other ways to sex them. Also,can you email me some male female comparison pictures?
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Michelle Brodrick 13 January, 2012 16:22
I have common garden skinks which lay eggs in the same spot every year and I have great fun watching them hatch. Now I have discovered a second species of skink in my garden. They are slightly fatter than the garden skink. The tail is shorter and fatter and copper coloured but has a grey really pointed tip. I have caught both species and they appear to be quiet different when placed side by side. What is the coppery one?
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Discovery Centre 14 January, 2012 12:35
Hi Michelle - we can't really say without seeing it ourselves; one possibility is the Bougainville's Skink, but there are other possibil;ities depending on where you live, etc. If you have any images, you are welcome to make use of our free identification service; feel free to send us any photos via "Contact Us" at the bottom of this page.
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Discovery Centre 18 January, 2012 12:44

Hi Georgie, Garden skinks are very hard to tell male or female and so photos that guide you are not available. Some experienced owners suggest the following: if the base of the skink enclosure is a smooth dark coloured mat you may find clear waxy bits on it during spring.  This depends on your skink being an adult and the presence of these waxy bits would mean it was a male.

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Callie 26 January, 2012 13:04
Hi, I have 3 garden sun skinks and I was wondering what substrate is best for them to breed in and make their nest? I currently have quarts sand 3 large aquarium plants and a bogwood arch, A reptile light and a bearded dragon water dish. Is there any way to coax them into breeding other than hibernation?
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John 26 January, 2012 13:07
Hi, I have what looks like a cross between a barrington sun skink and a garden skink but without dark flecks and without the dark line down its back. I live in Newcastle NSW. What could it be?
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Discovery Centre 26 January, 2012 13:27
Hi John - we would need to see a clear photo of the animal in order for us to make any suggestions; if you have clear images, you can send them to us via our Ask The Experts service and we'll do our best to have it identified.
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Jane Routley 28 January, 2012 10:51
Should I worry that a skink seems to be living in my worm farm?
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2012 16:19

Hi Jane, on the one hand, garden skinks definitely feed on earthworms and that's probably the reason the skink is living there - an almost limitless supply of food. Not to mention all the other small invertebrates that inhabit worm farms and would make equally good food. On the other hand, there's only so many earthworms a single skink of that size would be able to consume, so it may not have much impact on the overall worm numbers.

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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2012 16:32
Hi Callie, three skinks should be housed in a large enclosure, between about 20L and 50L in size, with enclosure furniture for them to hide. A basking light at one end will give them a gradient of hotter to cooler areas, and the bogwood and water dish you mentioned are also important.

A substrate of sand or cocopeat or a mixture of the two should be at least 5cm deep with leaf litter at one end that will encourage them to lay eggs. Most southern Australian species need a period of cool temperatures without a basking light and without feeding for them to hibernate if they are to breed. We don't know any other method to encourage breeding without a hibernation period.

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Jamie and Joel 12 February, 2012 10:39
Hi there, My Mum is a gardener and found about 15 pea sized oval shaped white eggs under a large rock. A small skink ran away when she uncovered them. So she has brought them home to encourage them to hatch and release them in garden. She has filled a tupperware container half with soil from the area. She has placed the eggs in a shallow trough in the soil, put a couple of dead leaves over the eggs and gently balanced a large rock over the trough. Can you tell me if this is a suitable environment for the eggs to hatch? Also what sort of climate should we keep the container in? We currently have it sitting inside the house at a window that gets Northern sun. We are in Sydney. Also approximately how long until the eggs hatch and what do we feed them once hatched? Do we place a shallow container of water in the tupperware container? Or should we release them straight away? Thanks
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Discovery Centre 17 February, 2012 10:50

Skinks generally require a specialised incubator and quite specific conditions for them to survive. Your set-up is reasonably good, but may not be exactly what they need. The best thing is to let them go in the garden as soon as they hatch.

You should keep in mind too that it’s illegal to take any protected wildlife from the wild, including your backyard and including eggs.
Holly 8 March, 2012 18:21
i have one pet Skink. If it's a girl will it still lay eggs? Or those it need a male?
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Discovery Centre 12 March, 2012 12:07

Hi Holly!
Yes, a female skink does need a male skink to reproduce. Depending on what species you have, it will usually lay eggs. Some species, however, do not lay eggs and give birth to young skinks.

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Cassie Taylor 19 March, 2012 16:38
how do u tell between their gender
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Discovery Centre 23 March, 2012 16:45

Hi Pearl, many skinks have yellow bellies for at least some part of their lives, so it depends which species of skink you’re referring to. For example, both sexes of the Water Skink (Eulamprus tympanum) have yellow bellies, but in other species only the male has a yellow belly and only in the breeding season. The colouring may be a warning to other males or to make them more attractive to females. If this doesn’t satisfy your curiosity, send in a photo and we’ll try to tell you which species you have.

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Morgan 6 April, 2012 09:15
Hi,My dad found a common garden lizard,I Put it in my old fish tank with little bits of dirt and some rocks,I put it in the shade and sun,I fed it some little tincy bits of cooked egg.I don't annoy it,is this a good way to look after it ??
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wee 3 December, 2012 20:07
I think they are a great thing to keep,as long as they have what is needed for them,and it sux's that it is a illegal,to keep them,we have some in a really big,big tank,and have done for over 3 year's know,and they are our baby's,we love watching them,i love how their tail's wag when it is feeding time.
Discovery Centre 7 April, 2012 12:20
Hi Morgan, it sounds like you are doing a great job with the skink but the best thing is probably to release it where you found it. It might have a specialised diet that it can only get in the wild or via special food that you buy. Also you may need a permit from the Department of Sustainability and Environment to keep this animal.  
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christy gee 21 April, 2012 12:39
l have 2 pet skinks.l gave it water, live ants and they are not eating them. what should l do? please help!!
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Discovery Centre 22 April, 2012 11:17
Hi Christy, Skinks don't eat ants as part of their normal diet, as ants are full of formic acid and are particularly distasteful. The only lizard that specialises on ants is the Thorny Devil. Your skink would prefer a range of live insects as food. If these are not readily available, you can buy live crickets from many pet shops.
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katie 28 May, 2012 07:55
hi HELP! my pet new zealand garden skink not eating much only half a slug and a magot! douse he need any more food? and is he a male he has a yellow belly. and how big will he grow he is (at the moment!) 8.1 cm in length. thanks!
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Discovery Centre 5 June, 2012 14:29

Hi Katie,

Generally a yellow belly signifies a male, although in some species the belly of both male and female can be yellow. It depends which species you have. There are more than 40 skink species in New Zealand, so it is difficult for us to pin down the right one. The adult body length of the skink will also be determined by which species it is.

Skinks will eat small snails and finely diced vegetables as well as lettuce and banana. They also eat crickets and cockroaches and prefer to chase these around the enclosure.

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katie 10 June, 2012 09:04
HI! by the way my pet skink (called shimmer!) is a common garden skink so is he a male (he has a yellow belly)? and he likes cockroaches, small spiders, magots of pantry moths, slugs, worms, fruit, vegys and egg. we try and give him 1 evry day is that unuf? and if he gets sick sould i take him to the vet? and if we cant find a insect or spider 1 day is it OK if we give him just egg, fruitand water?
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Discovery Centre 29 June, 2012 10:18

Hi Katie, in the wild, garden skinks would generally feed every day and can be fed daily in captivity, but will also be fine if fed every second day. You’re feeding it an excellent range of food, and any one of those components can be included on any particularly day (the skink doesn’t need fruit and eggs and vegetables and live prey every day). It sounds like it’s being well looked after.

If you’re worried about the skink’s health at any time, you should take it along to the vet. There are vets that specialise in reptiles and these are listed on the internet but you can also be referred to one from your local vet.

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julie 11 July, 2012 03:28
I recently found a nest of skink eggs with the mother curled up on top of them. My question is will she eat the eggs or the babies when they hatch. I was wondering if I should remove the eggs and release them once they have hatched. I have hatched box turtle eggs in the past so I am familiar with the care of eggs.
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Discovery Centre 13 July, 2012 11:08
Hi Julie, thanks for the question!  We have checked with the Live Exhibits Team and reptiles and other animals that normally brood their eggs will not eat or abandon them unless they are disturbed. The only option we can recommend is to leave them alone as the female skink is best placed to look after them.
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katie 27 July, 2012 09:36
thanks! we are going a way for about a week VERY soon so what should we do? And is he a male common garden skink if he has a yellow belly?
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Discovery Centre 2 August, 2012 11:13

Hi Katie, at this time of year, skinks do not need much food and will easily cope for a week whilst you’re away. If you are heating the enclosure, it might help to turn the heating off so the skink becomes less active (they do that during winter anyway). Make sure you don’t feed the skink for a week beforehand if you turn off the heat – this will give the skink sufficient time to digest whatever food it has in its stomach before becoming inactive.

Male Common Garden Skinks do not have a yellow belly – it could be a Three-Toed Skink or McCoy’s Skink.

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Alexis 3 September, 2012 14:44
My cat loves to catch skinks and usually brings them in and eats them. I try to save as many as possible but sometimes I'm too late. I have one skink at the moment who i just rescued but it looks in a bad way. His body seems find, it looks more like head trauma, particularly to one eye. I have put it in a plastic container in the cupboard to recuperate, it's been about an hour now. I'm worried about letting him out and it being subject to predators because of it's damaged eye. What should I do? He seems to be active, should i just let him out? What is his chance of survival and what can i do to better prepare it for rerelease?
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Discovery Centre 14 September, 2012 10:45
Hi Alexis, our Live Exhibits staff have said most skinks will die after being mauled by a cat, regardless of what treatment is given to them. So there’s not much that can be done to better prepare the skink for release short of taking it to a vet. The best solution is to prevent the cat from catching any more, by keeping it inside as much as possible or better still erecting a cat run in your backyard.
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lone traveller 23 September, 2012 18:42
hi, my Mother found a skink in the garden today,I named it Larry, I want to keep it as a pet, is that legal? what can I feed it that we can have as an every day item? (example strawberries and bananas) thanks, the lone traveller.
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Discovery Centre 24 September, 2012 15:13

Hi Lone - in most cases a permit is required to keep native animals depending on the species, and in all cases the animals kept in captivity should come from captive stock such as from keepers or pet suppliers rather than capturing the animal yourself.

You shouldn't capture a wild native animal and keep it as a pet for a number of reasons, so we strongly reccommend you let the skink go in the same location you found it for its best chance at survival. You can read more about wildlife permits, animal welfare considerations and regulations at the DSE website here.

Hope this helps

Rebecca Gray 17 November, 2012 19:11
Hi, we found two little white, hard shelled, pea sized eggs in the garden today under the woodpile. We've brought them in and popped them in a container with some of the dirt they were laying in. Do you know what they might be and if they will hatch? How long do they take to hatch? I'm certain that when i picked them up, they were moving!!
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Discovery Centre 19 November, 2012 15:13
Hi Rebecca - It's difficult to make an identification without a picture. Feel free to contact us through our Ask the Experts page, attaching a photograph (preferably with a pen or ruler or something in the photo to provide scale). You might also like to note that reptile eggs don't like being turned, so make sure you keep them the same way up as when you found them!
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Nathan 1 December, 2012 19:47
Hi i was just wondering what would be the best setup for a common garden skink? i live in riddells creek victoria so whereabouts can i find them? and also do i need a licence for a common garden skink thanks if you answer
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Discovery Centre 2 December, 2012 11:12
Hi Nathan - Have a look through the previous comment threads; you should find the answers to your questions addressed above.
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Sarah 5 December, 2012 23:15
What email address can I send a photo to, so I can find out what type of skink I have and whether I would need a license to keep it. What should I feed it? I have tried a variety of moving things but it doesn't seem to eat. I have also put in dried fruit which I think it licks. It has a variety of logs and rocks and grass and a tree branch in the box would a tray of sand or bark be good to keep or would that need to be replaced regularly?
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Discovery Centre 6 December, 2012 10:50
Hi Sarah - we would need to see a clear photo of the animal in order for us to make any suggestions; if you have clear images, you can send them to us via our Ask The Experts service and we'll do our best to have it identified.
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Chloe 8 December, 2012 17:42
Hi, I have three pet skinks and one of them had about 6 eggs. I have left them where they are and I was wondering if they will just hatch by them selves or if I have to do something to care for them? If they hatch, will the other skinks eat them or will they be all right to leave them in there?
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Discovery Centre 9 December, 2012 12:32

Hi Chloe, the fact the eggs have been laid in the enclosure suggests the adults consider the habitat you've provided to be suitable for incubation. So the best option is to leave them where they are, whilst keeping them warm and moist. Alternatively, you can remove them and place them in an incubation medium (such as vermiculite) in a shallow container, leaving about one third of the egg surfaces exposed. The container should have a lid with small holes punctured in it, the humidity should be kept high by spraying every day, and the temperature should be kept around 25 degrees celsius. The eggs will begin to shrivel if they become to dry (and also if they die). If you need more information, there are plenty of reptile discussion forums on the internet.

If the eggs hatch, you should remove the young skinks and keep them separately. They will feed on a similar diet to the adults, just much smaller quantities.

 

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Joseph Senat 12 January, 2013 10:31
Hi, I have a fish pond with about a dozen fish and have a lot of skink lizards in my back yard. They sometimes congregate around the pond and even go in the water. I am worried that they might eat the fish and or the eggs or newly hatched fish. Do Skinks eat fish? I live in Sydney.
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Discovery Centre 13 January, 2013 14:00

Hi Joseph, most fish in fish ponds tend to be live bearers and so the lizards won't be eating eggs. There aren't really any types of skinks in your area that would pose a threat to pond fish of any age. The Eastern Water Skink has a semi-aquatic lifestyle but they tend not to feed in the water, and Eastern Water Dragons might but they are distinctively different to skinks and not easily confused with them.

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May Wong 24 January, 2013 22:31
Now I know a lot more about those lizards that abound in my garden in Sydney. That's fine but they seem to get into my house too and I have a hard time making sure they get back out. Is there some way I can deter them from getting into my lounge, kitchen, etc. where they leave little blobs of poo and where there is no food or water for them? I already take precautions like closing doors to the outside and putting sand ropes to seal gaps under the doors but they still manage to slither in.
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Bella 27 January, 2013 17:59
Hi sorry for the stupid question but are skinks native animals.Ive been reading past comments and some have talked about native animals and skinks being native i just wanted to clarify, thanks
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Tahlia 28 January, 2013 20:51
Hi I have 6 skinks. In one enclosure I have for them, they don't seem to be able to climb out of so is possible that I can keep the lid off?? Or will they eventually get out ??
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2013 15:22
Hi Bella, it's not a stupid question. The term skink is used for a variety of lizards from Australia but is also used in other countries. Australia has many species of native skink, but if you were in America for example there would also be lizards native to the US that are called skinks. Generally lizards from the family Scincidae are called skinks.
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Discovery Centre 1 February, 2013 11:36

Hi Tahlia,

The answer partly depends on what type of skinks you have. Most of the smaller skinks appear quite happy living in the same enclosure, but other usually larger species will fight if males are left together. And as a general rule skinks will not be able to climb out of their enclosure, although some species can climb up the corners of glass tanks if the circumstances are right. So unless enclosure furnishings are close to the top or there is some other means of assistance, the lizards should be fairly safe without a lid.

If you do place a lid on the enclosure, you’ll need to allow for UV light to enter, as all lizards require this light to remain healthy. UV light is blocked by a range of materials, including glass, so a mesh lid is preferable.

Remember too that in Victoria you must have a licence for skinks (depending on the species) and have bought them from a pet shop, otherwise it is illegal to keep them.

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Kim 5 February, 2013 23:45
Hi there. I live in st kilda, Melbourne and seem to have a new housemate. He is a very pale skink and has been here for a few days now. I have no hope of getting him back to a garden environment as he is up high and has found a home ina crevice above the door, which I can't access. The poor little fella must hungry and thirsty, what can I give him, that will sit on top of a thin door frame?
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Discovery Centre 23 February, 2013 13:37
Hi Kim, the lizard you describe sounds very much like a Marbled Gecko. It is very unlikely to be a skink, as skinks are not good climbers and don't survive well inside houses. Marbled Geckos are very common in and around houses in Melbourne, including high rise apartments. They live in crevices and even inside the walls of buildings, feeding on insects they find there. They also favour the cracks of doors, but care should be taken when closing doors as they sometimes get squashed in the door jam. In your case the best option is to leave the lizard where it is - if there is insufficient food and water around, it will simply move on.
ayesha & millie 22 February, 2013 18:51
hi! my friend and I have just found a baby garden skink near our car and we have accidentally run over something that seems to be like his or her parents. we put him in a cardboard box with a small amount of dirt, a jar lid with some water a few bits of small logs and leaves. i want to keep him for a while before I release him. what should he eat and should we change his habitat?
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Discovery Centre 23 February, 2013 13:35
Hi Ayesha and Millie, skinks are able to look after themselves soon after emerging from the egg, so this individual doesn't need its parents around in order to survive. Whilst your concern for the skink is commendable, it's illegal to collect native wildlife even from your own yard, unless you're concerned about its health and welfare, in which case it should be taken to a vet. In the circumstance you describe, the best option is to release it back into the wild.
Rachel C 3 March, 2013 12:43
HELP, are my two pet skink are only having a couple of mouthfuls of banana, a lick of lettuce and a bite of ham, is this enough for them to eat or should I go out to the park and catch and kill some tasty insects for my skinks? PLEASE ANSWER. PS. How can you tell how old a garden skink is. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2013 14:53

Hello Rachel - we checked this with our Live Exhibits team, and they've responded as follows:

The best way to stimulate the appetite of the skinks is to offer them live prey. You can either catch some yourself, and this is a good time of year to do it, or you can buy small crickets from most pet shops. You don't mention the species of skink you have, but small individuals don't need a lot of food to sustain themselves.

Once a skink becomes adult, particularly small species, it is difficult to determine their age. Particularly because their size is due more to the amount of food they consume than how long they have been alive.

Brodi 15 March, 2013 20:21
I have a garden skink but I'm not shore if it is a male or female???
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Discovery Centre 16 March, 2013 10:03

Hi Brodi, read through some of the response above in regards to sexing your skink. Check out the response form the Discovery Centre on January 18th 2012, or March 23rd 2012 or June 5th 2012!

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Willow 6 May, 2013 13:23
Hey, I was wondering what it meant if there is a bulging eye on a skink, is it because one of my pets got to it or is it a deseise? We get skinks inside our house really regularly because of my cat but she doesn't seem to eat it is it because she just wants to be praised because I've never seen her eat one but sometimes she kills them... I would appreciate if you took the time to read this. Thank you.
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Melena 5 June, 2013 06:43
I'm in the US but i have a skink question. I have several in my backyard, one that i had grown quite fond of, drowned in my pool :( I have another larger one, but he doesn't come out often. Is this normal for the larger/older ones? Thanks for all the great info!!
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Cammie 16 June, 2013 07:28
I would like to know what environment I need to keep a skink alive?
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Brian Howard 25 July, 2013 17:16
Hi, Do skinks hibernate? Regards, Brian
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Discovery Centre 15 August, 2013 11:24

Hi Brian,

Skinks of all kinds do hibernate during winter in southern Australia. In the reptile world, the word ‘brumation’ is often used to describe this process, as some biologists assert the way ectothermic animals such as reptiles hibernate is different to that of mammals.

Cherie 14 August, 2013 17:24
One of our cats brought home a skink! It's tail is gone and back legs not working but my 10 yr old daughter wants to look after it as it will die if we let it go! Please tell me what I can feed it other than 'live' things? We're in the UK.
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Discovery Centre 5 September, 2013 11:49
Dear Cherie, our Live Exhibits staff have provided us with the following information:

If the skink is in a bad state, the best option is to take it to a vet. There are quite a few wildlife vets in the UK, including a number that specialise in reptiles. Live insects are the best source of protein for captive skinks but you can also feed canned dog food, or dry dog food soaked in water. Skinks also need vegetable matter in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. Protein should make up just more than half their dietary intake.

leonte 15 August, 2013 04:53
Hi I have a really big garden skink how do I tell if its pregnant or not aand I allready know that it a female
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Discovery Centre 5 September, 2013 11:52
Hi Leonte - here is some information for you from our Live Exhibits staff:

If you have a Common Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti) it will be an egg-bearer, unlike many other skink species that are live-bearers. Female Garden Skinks generally produce about six eggs at a time, so if pregnant your skink will have a noticeably large belly. Other than this, there is no guaranteed way to determine if a skink is pregnant.

Caitlin 29 September, 2013 12:50
Hi, we live in Lennox Head NSW and have accidentally dug up 3 eggs (7-8mm long) laid under some capeweek in our lawn. I guess they might be skink eggs (but we also have dragons, geckos and some snakes visiting our garden). I am wondering what we should do with the eggs now we have disturbed them. Should we try and find another spot nearby and leave them there? Their original spot with the capeweed has been removed and it is now a bare patch of soil which wont offer them any protection. Do they need their mother to sit on the eggs?
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Discovery Centre 1 October, 2013 16:29

Hi Caitlin,

It’s unlikely that the eggs would require their mother’s attention, so the best option is to put them back in the ground. If you can find a piece of ground most similar to area of capeweed, and as close as possible, you can rebury them at about the same depth.

Roger DESHON 7 October, 2013 16:30
I know someone who breeds skinks, specifically Blue Tongues and I asked him about determining the gender. With a straight face he told me the females have the longer eyelashes.
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sam 12 October, 2013 18:23
I have two pet skinks, I have provided a water dish and a heat mat for them at night when it gets cold. during the day they get sun through my window. do they need UVB if so does that give them enough? also I mist once a day with a spray bottle is that ok? sorry I should have mentioned they are 5 lined skinks I think. anyway to the main point they don't seem to be eating why is this? thanks.
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Discovery Centre 17 October, 2013 14:12
Hi Sam, the skinks you have are probably Three-lined Skinks (Bassiana duperreyi), if not Common Garden Skinks (Lampropholis guichenoti). Keeping in mind that you must have a licence to keep Three-lined Skinks or have obtained Garden Skinks from a licenced dealer. It is illegal to collect either species from the wild, including your garden, and keep them in captivity.

There are plenty of sites and discussion threads on the internet detailing the best way to keep skinks. Artificial light using a lamp designed for reptiles is better than just natural light, as you can ensure the skinks have the right amount of UV and you can control the temperature more accurately. Leaving the skinks near a window can mean they get too hot or too cold, depending on outside conditions. If kept too cold they are unlikely to be taking food at this time of year.

quintin 6 November, 2013 21:57
How long does the common garden skink take to grow to there full size
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Hayder 14 November, 2013 14:09
In my small garden I have discovered around half a meter garden skink, is it dangerous when it's bigger than normal? I realised that it's a little bit shy and doesn't like someone to get closer. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 16 November, 2013 12:29
Hello Hayder, Garden skinks are normally a great deal smaller than what you describe; a 50cm long Garden Skink would be more than 400% larger than typical size for the species. We think a reptile of that magnitude is more likely to be a snake than a skink, but we cannot provide an identification without seeing the animal ourselves.
Joanna 29 November, 2013 17:05
hi, my dad found a common garden lizard in our garden and i was wondering if i can send a picture so you could tell me the speices and gender?
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Discovery Centre 30 November, 2013 11:09
Hi Joanna, please feel free to take a couple of images of the skink before you let it go and you can send the images to us at discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au Some species can be very similar in appearance so we can't guarantee we will be able to go to species from the images but our Herpetologist will do her best. When you send the images in if you can tell us what suburb you live in and also give us an idea of how long the lizard is. 
Simon 2 December, 2013 00:53
Hi, I found a garden skink in cairns, it looks sick an has been running in circles and not reall movin for 36 hours now. I have given him water and some bannna but is not eating. What should I do for him? He looks I'll, and I'm not sure what to do.
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Nila 2 December, 2013 11:56
I found a dark brown skink running in circles (like chasing his tail) in my garden and don't know what to do. How can I help him?
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Carmen 3 December, 2013 11:13
i have a boy skink and he wont eat and ive tried everything. he is fat so i dont know if his like not hungry or something. PLEASE HELP ME ASAP!!
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cooper 11 December, 2013 16:17
hey what do i do with skink eggs do i give them extra suport or just let the other pet skinks take care of them i havent tuched the eggs yet but what do i do?
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Cam 17 December, 2013 16:07
Hi I have a garden skink Whitch layded 2 eggs how should I take care of the eggs and make sure my skinks are very healthy
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Dan 22 December, 2013 19:33
We had 4 or 5 garden skinks on our back verandah all tangled up together and appeared to be attacking/biting at least one of the skinks caught up in the tangle. I have never seen this behaviour before. Are skinks cannibalistic or is this a territorial behaviour? They broke apart and ran off when I tried to get closer for a better look.
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Discovery Centre 30 December, 2013 11:14
Hi Dan - here is what our Live Exhibits expert had to say: The behaviour you witnessed is most likely to be a group of male skinks attempting to mate with a female. In many skink species, males bite and harass the female until she succumbs, and on occasion a number of males will happen across a female and become aggressive to both the female and the male competitors. You may have notice that the males were trying to curl their tails under her, in order to be the one to mate with her.
This is normal behaviour for skinks, and the females are generally resilient and are unharmed by the encounter.
Yan 31 December, 2013 14:46
We have a what looks like a spotted skink in our backyard. It has been killing fish in our fish pond. It dragged the fish out from the pond and leave it to die, might eat some part of the fish. Please HELP!!
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Judy 2 January, 2014 23:14
over the last 8yrs I have noticed an increase of geckos around my garden in Melbourne but skinks I use to come across, babies & adults don't seem to be around anymore. Could the geckos eat skink eggs?
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Discovery Centre 3 January, 2014 16:11
Hi Judy, the geckos you see in your garden are Marbled Geckos (Christinus marmoratus). This species feeds on invertebrates rather than vertebrates (or their eggs), and occupies a different niche to Garden Skinks (Lampropholis guichenoti). We have had several reports of reduced skink numbers this summer - the factors causing this are undoubtedly independent of factors influencing gecko populations, and are most likely due to environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, or a change in predator populations, including domestic animals.
Molly 9 January, 2014 17:16
Is my skink pregnant it seems fatter then usual?
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Molly 9 January, 2014 18:02
Do they lay eggs
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Kim 10 January, 2014 20:13
A common garden skink got in my house, we tried to catch it, but it dropped its tail and escaped. Will it leave on its own? If not how do it get it to leave? I am not comfortable having it somewhere in the house and would prefer it was in the garden.
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Discovery Centre 13 January, 2014 09:45
Hi Kim, Garden Skinks (Lampropholis guichenoti) do not do well inside houses, due to the dry air and lack of suitable food. If possible, the best thing you can do for the skink is to catch it and put it outside. It is unlikely, but still possible, for the skink to find its own way out.
Kim 13 January, 2014 15:57
Thanks for the info is there a humane way to lure it out of hiding and trap it? We have not seen it since it escaped, or is it to late?
ryan 14 January, 2014 15:48
Hello, I have two pet common garden skinks in Tasmania (Hobart). How big should there enclosure be and I'm thinking of getting a couple more so how big should about four skinks enclosure be. Also I have not noticed them eating yet should I just wait or get them checked at a vet. Also how do I tell if one of them is pregnant. Thank you
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Ryan 14 January, 2014 18:25
Hello, I have two pet garden skinks and I want to make sure I am looking after them properly. How big should I have there enclosure. I am thinking of getting a couple more so how big should the enclosure be if I get more. I have not seen them eat anything yet so should I change there diet or take them to a vet. Also my cat did get ahold of one of them but when I put the skink back in the enclosure it seemed fine will he be alright. Now I always keep the tank away from the cat. Thank you
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ryan 15 January, 2014 16:16
I have two pet garden skinks and i live in Tasmania. i wanted to make sure i was treating them correct. how big must there enclosure be and what is the best diet? Also one of my cats attacked my girl skink and her tail dropped off and when i put her back in the enclosure she was fine just want to make sure she will be ok. thank you.
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Susan 21 January, 2014 20:25
My son has found a marbled geko and a garden skink (both within a couple of weeks). We have an enclosed, aired terrarium with dirt, a couple of sticks, flat rocks, leaves and water. I'm feeding them small crickets covered in calcium powder. I'd like to know if they are habitat compatible as we currently have them separated but it would be easier if they were together. Can someone help with an answer.
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Discovery Centre 26 January, 2014 14:24
Hi Susan, as a general rule, it's not a good idea to house different reptile species together. Firstly they are often predatory, and the smaller reptile may be eaten by the larger one, even if the size difference is only minimal, or the more timid species eaten by the more aggressive. Secondly, they are often territorial. Species that may tolerate other members of their own species may not tolerate members of other species. Also, different species have different needs, and it can be difficult to cater for the needs of both species at the same time.
Jo-Anne Dooner 15 February, 2014 15:30
I have a garden skink living in my home. He has been bunking with us for over 6 months. He seems happy, but has recently dropped his tail. I am wondering if I need to do something special for him now that winter is coming. We have tried to encourage him back into the backyard. No luck... He loves the house.
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Discovery Centre 22 February, 2014 11:00
Hi Jo-Anne, animals tend to choose the environment that suits them best - determined by temperature, humidity, prey availability and protection from predators - it's what they do for a living. If the skink has the choice to go outside and prefers to stay inside, and you're happy with that decision, then that's probably the best outcome.
Craig 2 March, 2014 02:30
Hi this is my story! I Live in north east Victoria, today I witnessed same thing amazing! Today I was looking at a old camp fire in the bush! Up the Rose river! It looked like it was not to old! 6 month mix! Anyway cutting the story short, about 10 cm under the black coals I found eggs! Moving more coals I found little baby's that have just hatch! It was amazing to see this! I Didn't count then but about 40 eggs and about 20 little baby's! I have spent a lot of time looking whats around me in the bush but never this! I think they are baby eastern water scinks because they are around here! Baby's were about 30mm long, eggs were about 10mm! The things we can see if we open our eyes! Nature at its best.
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john 2 March, 2014 21:58
We have several common garden skinks in our backyard (Sydney) and sometimes we feed a very small quantity of mince meat. They seem to love it. The only thing is that one if them seems to like my toes but I am reluctant to let it gnaw at them in case it draws blood causing an infection. Can this happen ie draw blood? And if yes, is there a risk of Infection? Thank you
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Discovery Centre 6 March, 2014 11:10
Hi John, the disease most readily and commonly transferred from reptiles to humans is salmonellosis, caused by the Salmonella bug. But this is transmitted by handling reptiles and their faeces, which is not the case for you. There are a number of bacteria that can be transferred through reptile bites, but Garden Skinks’ mouths are small enough, and their jaw strength weak enough that the risk of their teeth penetrating skin and passing on bacteria is extremely small.
Julia 4 March, 2014 12:12
I am absolutely terrified of all insects and as much as ive read so people feel the opposite... However I NEED to get rid of the lizards in my back yard... There are literally 1000's of the them. When I was growing up they used to be seen in garden beds etc I'm seeing 6 at a time in a patch of lawn and what seems to be families of them around my back door. I'm considering moving due to my fear!!! They are absolutely everywhere...
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Brianna 17 March, 2014 21:47
Do the geckos that come round at night and eat moths.do they actually eat garden skinks.oh and sorry for this wired question but where do garde skinks go at night just wondering thanku!😊
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Brianna 18 March, 2014 07:16
What saught of habitat should I give them ?but I've got the tank
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Brianna 18 March, 2014 07:25
Can garden skinks tail drop of without being threatened
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Discovery Centre 20 March, 2014 16:24

Hi Brinana,

In the comments above you will find lots of helpful advice on how to best provide a habitat for skinks, both in your garden and in tanks. As for the tail dropping, it is unlikely that a skink will drop its tail without being threatened as the process does cause some issues for the skink. It can affect its sense of balance, reduces its fat stores and even affects its growth and reproductive processes. Healing and regrowing the tail also takes a significant amount of energy and makes skinks more susceptible to predators as they no longer have a defence mechanism. 

Brianna 24 March, 2014 18:58
Thanku for that I absaloutly love skinks
Chris 26 March, 2014 07:26
I need help ASAP. Today I was tealing soil for a vegetable garden and I accidentally hit a ground skink with the shovel. The skink has a cut behind its front leg from the shovel. I did not see any blood but to get a cut from the shovel I must have hit it hard. It is alive and still breathing but it just lays around. It is still cold here in southern WV and I think it was hibernating. I brought it straight into the house and set it in a shallow dish of warm water to see if it would move. It did try to move around but just barely. What can I do for it ? I wanted to give it every chance to live but I'm afraid that it may be suffering. If anyone can help me at all I would very much appreciate it. I just don't know much about reptiles and I can't find much info on the web.
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Brianna 28 March, 2014 21:55
Also if the lizard is running and jumping around a lot it is best to let it go.if its not eAting that means it is not happy so also best to let it go.try to leave it alone if you are keeping it until it gets better because it is Likely trying hibernating
Brianna 26 March, 2014 19:21
What does it mean when a garden skink does a funny littl tail swirly type wiggle thing with its tail is it attracting prey or is it some saught of a mating thing
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Aden 30 March, 2014 08:05
Hi, I live in the us, but would still like to ask a question. I've seen lots of answers about gender, but for a garden skink, what is the easiest way to tell male from female?
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Discovery Centre 30 March, 2014 10:00

Hi Aden,

The best answer we can give is the one we gave to Georgie on 18 January 2012. As we said then, it's very hard to tell males from females.

Izzy 30 March, 2014 18:14
Hi, I sometimes see skinks in my garden, so I know they are there, and I want to catch one to observe it. Is there a reliable way of attracting them, and would a pit trap work? Also, if I put small pieces of meat in a pit trap would they come? Thanks
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Discovery Centre 1 April, 2014 13:55

Hi Izzy,

Unfortunately for your purposes it's not legal to capture native reptiles, including the Common Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti), and including those in your own garden. The best option is to sit quietly in the garden on a warm day and observe them in situ.

Jo 14 April, 2014 20:26
Hi, Im wondering what Skink poo looks like? on our back deck there are very small oval pellets with a white ball / tip at the end ... Thanks :)
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Brianna 16 April, 2014 18:15
Your description of it definitely sounds like garden skink poo