Cryptoblepharus cygnatus Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink
Charles Darwin National Park, Darwin, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 10, 2009
Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
After Horner’s recent revision of this genus, there are considered to be two Cryptoblepharus species in this area of Australia that are indistinguishable without careful examination of the undersides of their feet, C. cygnatus and C. metallicus. All of the ones I photographed in this area could be either species. I have arbitrarily identified them as C. cygnatus, to honor alphabetical order. If you know of a way to distinguish C. cygnatus from C. metallicus from photographs that don’t include the bottom of the feet, please let me know.

I’ve written up an account of this three-week trip to Australia here.

Ubirr, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 13, 2009
Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
Almost all of the little Cryptoblepharus skinks that I saw were on tree trunks or large logs. Other little skinks, such as Carlia amax, occupied the nearby ground.
Illigadjarr, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 14, 2009
Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
This is the heads-down position that these skinks would typically hold, presumably scouring the base of the tree for tasty tiny bugs. When spooked, the skinks dart high up the tree or under some loose bark.
Gagudju Lodge Cooinda, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 15, 2009
Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
This one might be thinking “"Hey, where did the rest of my tree go?”.
Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 17, 2009
Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus) Swanson’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
A couple more tree-dwellers in another Top End location.
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