Weasel Skink Saproscincus mustelina

Lizards of Victoria series

Identification

The Weasel Skink, Saproscincus mustelinus, is a coppery brown with darker flecks on the back. The under surface is cream. It has a prominent white spot below and immediately behind the eye.  The tail colour is similar to the back, but with a short, paler, dark edged streak starting immediately in front of the hind limb and continuing onto the upper section of the tail. It has a snout vent length of up to 45 mm.

Photo of Weasel Skink, Saproscincus mustelinus

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

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in Gippsland and north east Victoria, through the Melbourne area to the Otway Ranges. Usually found in or under fallen timber, or rotting vegetation.

Biology

This species feeds on small invertebrates.  Females lay up to four eggs per clutch in a communal nest, which contain the eggs of numerous females.

Further Reading

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

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

Comments (11)

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kathy butler 26 December, 2010 10:47
We just found a weasel skink in our bathroom (Blackheath, Blue Mountains, NSW). We identified it using Burnham Burnham's" Wild Things". We haven't seen one here before. It was quite lay back, staying on our hands and not trying to get away. Now it's out in the garden.
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Jane Edwards 9 January, 2011 14:57
I found this skink (identified on the web. not in my small Australian Lisards by Davey)in my house in suburban Brighton Vic. It was very quick but I captured it under a dish, and then let it go in my garden. Never seen one before, and I am very plesased that some wildlife still exists among all the development. Thanks museum.
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talia 10 January, 2011 19:45
I have been finding quite a few of these lizards running around in the backyard of my Keysborough home. They seem friendly although, they do not seem comfortable sitting in hands. Thanks for the easy find museum.
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Kyle 10 February, 2011 19:35
I found one in my garage on the weekend, I live in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, 1st time I have seen one. Identified using Stephen Swanson Field Guide to Aus reptiles, and confirmed it using google images. Very calm and unaffraid, so much so, he seemed sick. Observed him overnight, fed him some small crickets and let him on his way.
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ian 18 April, 2011 11:53
we have many weasle skinks in our backyard,thanks for the identifaction of them, the kids now know what they are.They are doing well here at woori-yallock
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Doug Blake 7 November, 2011 22:07
We have had them in our Bundoora property for the last few years. Each summer a few take up residence in the compost bin, I guess plenty of insects to feed on. The way I identified them as weasil skinks was to take a close up photo and blow it up on a computer screen. The white mark behind the eye showed up clearly. This white mark is very difficult to pick up with the naked eye. There are a lot of young ones so they are obviously breeding well.
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tintrojan 22 November, 2011 19:48
Just found one in the backyard in Belgrave. I filmed it- may put it on youtube
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Alexa 16 February, 2012 08:53
About once a year I find one of these fellows in the garage. I'm in quite inner Melbourne so I'm always happy to see them!
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Eva 25 December, 2012 18:18
One came into our house in Clifton Hill (Vic). We tried to feed it slaters but perhaps they were too big. It was very calm and sat on my hand. I loved it and we let it go.
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Alisha 26 July, 2013 13:31
Would anyone know the life expectancy of the weasel skink? I have been looking everywhere and can't seem to find any information on their life span.
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Discovery Centre 15 August, 2013 11:17

Hi Alisha,

As a general rule, the bigger the skink the longer it lives. Small garden skinks may live only a couple of years, whereas Blue-tongue Lizards may live around 20 years. There is no definitive answer for longevity of Weasel Skinks in the wild, but our best guess would be 5-7 years.