Shingleback Lizard

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The Shingleback Lizard is a well known member of the skink family. Related to the commonly known blue tongue lizards, the Shingleback Lizard is distinctive in its appearance from it’s short stump tail commonly known as a ‘bobtail’. The Shingleback Lizard’s habitats is primarily within Southern and Western Australia, especially in the arid regions where due to their adaptations they thrive. Whilst omnivorous, the Shingeback Lizard primarily survives off vegetable matter – such as fruits, berries and flowers. Sizes of Shinglebacks do vary, with some adults growing over 35cm in length.

Bobtail Lizards

Shingleback lizards are also often known informally as bobtail lizards because of their bobtail. The bobtail serves the lizard as a fat storage which can be used during times of low food availability. Bobtails can also be known by other names such as stumpy tails, boggi and pinecone lizards.

GenusTiliquaBlue tongued Skinks
Common Names Two-headed lizard, Pinecone lizard, Sleepy lizard, Boggi, Bobtail, Bobtail goanna, Stump-tailed lizard, Stumpy lizard



  • tongue is dark blue
    broad blunt tail similar in shape to head covered with raised scales length 34 cms (13 in)


  • arid regions of southern Australia but not on coast
    wide range of habitats


  • diurnal shelters under fallen timber, leaf litter, and grasses when not active


  • mainly herbivorous – favour flowers, berries, succulent leaves also eats spiders, insects, snails, carrion


  • breed in spring; same pairs form each year
    produce 1-4 but usually 2 live young

References – books

  • Australia’s Amazing Wildlife, 1985. Bay Books, Kensington NSW.
  • Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, HG Cogger, 1996. Reed Books, Melbourne
  • Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, Readers Digest Australia Pty Ltd, 1997. Readers Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Surrey Hills.
  • Wildlife Conservation, HJ Frith, 1979. Angus & Robertson, London.

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