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Pale-lipped shadeskink

Saproscincus spectabilis


The Pale-lipped shadeskink or gully skink is a small skink in the genus Saproscincus. Saproscincus means 'rotten skink', in reference to their use of decaying leaf-litter as a microhabitat.


Lamington Range National Park. Spotted near the Lower Ballanjui Falls and flooded gums. The park comprises Australia's largest remnant sub-tropical rainforest.


Snout-to-vent length 6 cm in average. Oviparous. Found in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland. Third picture is of a second specimen.


DanielePralong 10 years ago

Thanks for your input Scott and Stephen! Searching further I think it could be what is referred to in the specialized literature as mite pocket structures (acarodomatia). These infestations seem generally confined to the forelimb axillary regions.

StephenSolomons 10 years ago

ticks often hide near the arm pits like that, great lizards!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 10 years ago

I noticed the orange bodies but I thought "ectoparasites" rather than something "of the skink". They don't really fit the texture of the skink...I've not found them though on any other images of other species...except a faint possibility here all the way down. Looking at the "pale-lips" though, I think yours looks more like spectabilis :-)

DanielePralong 10 years ago

Thanks Shanna! Interesting question! I have 2 differenst specimen here and they are present behind the shoulder on both. I first thought these could be red scales which are shedding but looking close I wouldn't think so. Quickly searching for images of this species I found none with these but I do see these on another species of Saproscincus: Saproscincus challengeri:
So... do we have the right species? Is this maybe fungal or parasitic?

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 10 years ago

You're welcome, Daniele. Yes indeed ;-)

ShannaB 10 years ago

Cutie. I wonder what the orange things in the armpit are?

DanielePralong 10 years ago

Thanks for the ID Scott. Unfortunate but appropriate name for the genus!

Spotted by

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Mar 26, 2013
Submitted on Apr 26, 2013

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