Three-toed Skink (Hemiergis decresiensis)
Three-toed Skink (Hemiergis decresiensis)

Three-toed Skink (Hemiergis decresiensis)I found this Three-toed Skink under a pile of mulch and leaf litter in the garden yesterday. The name says it all – it has three toes on the front feet ….

and three on the hind feet.

These three-toed feet are very small, so small that they’re hard to see and this skink could easily be mistaken for a legless lizard or a small snake (see top image), especially as they ‘swim’ through leaf litter and loose soil, with the limbs providing little if any traction.

If you happen to catch a glimpse of its belly, you’ll notice that its cream to yellow coloured – and the distended appearance of this animal suggests its a female ready to give birth to several live young. In this way it differs from the more common Garden Skink, which lays a clutch of several eggs, often communally with other females of the same species.

This species is widespread in the Strathbogies and occurs widely in Victoria and SE Australia. It eats a variety of small insects, but is probably only rarely taken as prey, because it spends much of its time under rocks and logs, or in leaf litter. It can survive quite well in paddocks and pastures that aren’t overgrazed, as long as there are some native grasses and some cover that it can use as a refuge.