SPECIES: Ctenotus zastictus — Hamelin Ctenotus
Today it's a lesson in reptiles. And today, we profile the Hamelin Ctenotus. Cten-what? Let's call it the Hamelin Skink. It's a small species of skink, found only in a remote area of mallee in WA. It can grow to 6cm and its tail can grow twice the length of its body. Impressive. The Hamelin Skink has a dark-brown head and tail, stripes from eye to tail, brown limbs and a whitish underbelly. It has white comb-like scales near its ear openings to help keep soil from going into its ears as it burrows.
The Hamelin Skink is active during the day, although will seek shelter frm the heat in burrows or under vegetation. During the evening they emerge to seek a mate or find food. Once eggs hatch, young are immediately independent of their parents - imagine that! Threats to the Hamelin Skink are habitat disturbance from agriculture, predation by feral cats and fire to name a few.
Photo: Robert Browne-Cooper