Strathbogie Ranges - Nature View

Website of the Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network

Reptiles of the Strathbogie Tableland

Wood Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus), with regenerated tail.

Wood Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus), with regenerated tail.

Lizards

Eighteen species of lizard have been officially recorded from the north-eastern section of the Ranges above about 350 m asl (Strathbogie, Boho South, Marraweeny, Toorour), from both rural and forested areas:

  1. Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus)
  2. Wood Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus)
  3. Lace Monitor, Tree Goanna (Varanus varius)
  4. Jacky Lizard (Amphibolurus muricatus), or Mountain Dragon
  5. Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea)
  6. Large Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus)
  7. Copper-Tailed Skink (Ctenotus taeniolatus)
  8. Eastern Three-lined Skink (Bassiana duperreyi)
  9. Cunningham Skink (Egernia cunninghami)
  10. Black Rock Skink (Egernia saxatilis)
  11. White’s Skink (Egernia whitii )
  12. Yellow-bellied Water Skink (Eulamprus heatwolei)
  13. Water Skink (Eulamprus tympanum)
  14. Three-toed Skink (Hemiergis decresiensis)
  15. Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti)
  16. Boulenger’s Skink (Morethia boulengeri)
  17. Coventry’s Skink (Niveoscincus coventryi)
  18. Southern Grass Skink (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii)

Reptile species diversity in the south-west Strathbogie Ranges (eg Highlands, Caveat, Ruffy) is likely to be similar to the above. The lower slopes and plains surrounding the Ranges are likely to have species that are not present at higher altitudes.

Snakes of the Strathbogie Tableland

Download the brochure – Snakes of the Strathbogie Tableland (3.9 MB)

  1. Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus): Generally found in damp areas, near streams and swamps. Red-bellied Black Snakes on Wikipedia.
  2. Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudenaja textilis): Widespread and common. Eastern Brown Snakes on Wikipedia.
  3. Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus): Generally absent from the Tableland. One confirmed official record of this species from the Tames Rd district, though some farmers in that area report seeing them regularly. There are many first-hand accounts of Tiger Snakes occurring in the Ruffy and Highlands disticts of the southern Strathbogie Ranges, as well as on the lower slopes and plains of Merton, Yarck and Yea. Tiger Snakes on Wikipedia
  4. Alpine Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi): Widespread and common.
  5. White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides): Occasionally found in both gardens and forested areas.
  6. Little Whip Snake (Rhinoplocephalus flagellum): Several records from the Tableland, near Marraweeny, Kelvin View and Gall’s Gap.
  7. Eastern Small-eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens): Several records from forested areas of the Tableland.

    Eastern Small-eyed Snake, Tatong, Vic.

  8. Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops nigrescens): Rarely found, several records from the Tableland.
    Grey’s Blind Snake, Alexandra, Vic.

Found nearby

  • Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata ): A few records from lower altitudes; Euroa-Violet Town districts. Nocturnal, burrowing snake, found beneath the soil surface, under stumps, rocks & logs. Emerges at night to forage, especially after rain. The Bandy-bandy feeds exclusively on Blind Snakes (Ramphotyphlops sp.)Unique alarm posture of holding braced loops of body off ground. 50-60 cm long.

Some images of snake species found in and around the Strathbogie Ranges, Vic.

Turtles

Common Long-necked Turtle, Eastern Long-necked Tortoise (Chelodina longicollis)

Typically, they are residents of wetlands and slow-flowing rivers of floodplains. The proliferation of farm dams has resulted in an explosion of habitat, albeit as islands in an often intensively used landscape, and likely an equivalent increase in numbers. The Common Long-necked Turtle appears to be coping well with post-European settlement.

The species’ ability to move/disperse large distances (many 100’s m) over dry ground, in search of the next ‘waterhole’. We’ve all seen them crossing roads that appear to be a long way from a major water body, so this species can relatively quickly invade new habitat.

Historically in this area, slow flowing streams and aquatic wetlands were pretty much restricted to the plains: the valleys of the Goulburn River and the Broken River define/isolate the Strathbogie Ranges from the ranges to the east and south. The floodplains of both these catchments have existing populations of the Common Long-neck Turtle, but its likely that they were absent from much of the surrounding ranges where standing, or slow-flowing water is scarce – little habitat.

This situation changed drastically post-European settlement. This species appears to have a very patchy distribution in the Strathbogie Ranges (eg [[1]]). Whilst the Strathbogie Ranges have a rich and important wetland ecosystem, these were peatland systems, not sumps. However, if you dig a hole in the peat or clay soil, it holds water and you get turtle habitat. Now, as we all know, the landscape has an abundance of turtle habitat – lots of farm dams (where once there were Swamp Gum forests and sphagnum peatlands). There are recent records of Common Long-necked Turtles from farm dams in several districts and properties, but many more areas (with habitat) appear to lack them. We may be witnessing this species increasing its distribution, by invading the thousands of farm dams in these ranges.

I also strongly suspect that this spread is ably assisted by human-assisted movement of Common Long-necked Turtles through the landscape. After all, what do you do if you’re on the way home on a hot summer’s day and you pick a Turtle up off the main road and there’s no sign of any permanent water nearby? Do you just move it off the road (not knowing if it will just wander back on), or just pop it in the dam at home?

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