Prom Bioscan reptile video


Joanna: We're setting up some funnel traps this morning for lizard catching, mostly for skinks. We've got a drift fence of about ten metres and we're putting pairs of funnel traps down to catch the reptiles so they'll go in through the hole, and then get caught in here and we can get them out with the zip.

So hopefully the skinks will run in through the leaf litter when it's sunny and come up against the drift fence, and move along the drift fence and down into the funnel traps. And we need to make sure they're flush with the ground so lizards don't run under, and we also put a shadecloth over the top so that when it does get hot and sunny, if there are lizards in the traps, they don't overheat.

Once we've caught the lizards we'll take some measurements and work out what species it is and the size and weight. We'll probably take a tail tip for later DNA and genetic analysis; that helps us to identify species and look at genetic diversity in populations as well. And then the lizards will be released back where we found them.

Alright, let's process now. So Maggie, if you can take the book.... we're just measuring from the tip of the nose down to the vent. It's called a snout-vent length which is a very common lizard measurement that's taken. And it is... 46 millimetres. I'll see if I can work out the sex and you sex them by trying to evert their hemipenes. So this one's a male. They have one on the other side as well but I'll just humilliate him once.

Maggie: OK, ready to go.

Joanna: Ready to go.. here's the skink. 0.94 grams.

And now I'm just going to take about a milimetre or two from the base of the tail. And these guys regenerate their tail, you can see it's already regrown a little portion of its tail here.

This is the Z number, which records the tissue number so in our database if we want to find a specimen of this one, if we're just taking the tail tip for the genetic work, then we'll also have a photograph in case it turns out to be something different or we've misidentified it we can then check back to the photo.

This is a White Skink and this one, it's quite common. This is the second individual we've got so that's quite good. I'm pretty sure this one's a female. No sign of hemipenes.

Can you take one a little bit to the side as well, so we get the lateral?

Beautiful. Nice solid beastie.

About this Video

Dr Jo Sumner shows how herpetologists use traps to monitor reptiles at Wilsons Prom.
Length: 3:02