Water Skink Eulamprus tympanum tympanum

Lizards of Victoria series


The Water Skink, Eulamprus tympanum tympanum, has an olive-brown base colour on the back, with darker flecks. The flanks are dark with lighter spots. Does not have a pale stripe on the side of the face or pronounced markings under the chin. It has a snout vent length of up to 85 mm.

Water Skink, Eulamprus tympanum tympanum

Water Skink
Photographer: Peter Robertson. Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.

Distribution and habitat

Eulamprus tympanum tympanum is widely distributed throughout the state, except for the arid and semi arid areas in the north west. Its distribution overlaps with that of the Yellow-bellied Water Skink, E. heatwolei, in areas of the north east and Gippsland. It is usually found in association with moist habitats.


The Water Skink is a ground dwelling species and can often be observed backing on fallen logs and branches. It feeds on a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates and the females give birth to up to 8 young in a litter.

Further Reading

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

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

Comments (3)

sort by
Richard Hatherly 28 February, 2015 01:11
Have found two species of water skink in a remote south west WA forrest stream. At first I thought they were Ctenotus sp. but ruled it out on inspection as I have research experience in Ctenotus. I beleive they are Eulamprus. One similar to E.timpanum and the other is much larger SVL 16cm. As far as I know the genus is unknpwn in WA. Can you shed any light on this conundrum
Discovery Centre 28 February, 2015 13:49
Hello Richard - we've passed on your query to our herpetology staff to comment on, and we'll forward you their responses to your email address. In the interim, if you have any images of the specimens you have, these would be very useful - you can upload images to add to identification requests via the form on our Ask the Experts - Identifications page.
Richard Hatherly 12 March, 2015 23:47
Yes I have pics although not very clear. I will send through. The area in question was totally burnt out and as such was very easy to access. I have been to the site many times over a number of years but as the undergrowth is so dense I have never had access to the stream.
Write your comment below All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.