Known by a variety of names including stumpy tail, sleepy lizard,
shingleback and pinecone lizard the Tiliqua Rugosa is widespread
in low rainfall areas as well as coastal parts of Western & South Australia.
They favour coastal heath and sclerophyll forests which
are abundant in Deep Creek Conservation Park.
Although omnivorous their diet usually consists of flowers and leaves.
However, they don’t mind a broader palette that includes snails, beetles and other insects.
Did you know shinglebacks mate for life? They are strictly monogamous
and will seek out the same partner year after year.
According to extensive research undertaken by Michael Bull
from Flinders University, they can live in excess of 50 years
and during drought years can skip parenthood to focus on survival.
Typically, a litter consists of 2 live young which together make up ⅓ of
the female’s body weight. This has been compared to a woman
giving birth to a 7-year-old child…. Respect!
They are ectothermic meaning they can’t generate their own
body heat and must rely on warmth from their surroundings.
Although shinglebacks seem sluggish it is surprising how
they just disappear if you take your eyes off them for a moment!
During springtime the male will follow the female within a few centimetres for
many days before they get to mate. According to Prof. Michael Bull it’s like a little train.