Species:

Tiliqua rugosa

Shingleback

Some other names for this species:

Bobtail, Stump-tailed Skink, Stumpy-tail, Sleepy Lizard, Pinecone Lizard, Boggi

Subspecies I've seen:
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Rottnest Island Shingleback
T. r. konowi
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Shark Bay Shingleback
T. r. palarra
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Common Shingleback
T. r. rugosa
Subspecies:

Tiliqua rugosa konowi

Rottnest Island Shingleback

Rottnest Island, Western Australia, Australia
Rottnest Island Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa konowi)
Rottnest Island Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa konowi)
I saw my first wild Shingleback on Rottnest Island on a cool, sometimes rainy day. Then I saw my second, third, and fourth as well. I quickly learned that it's not very hard to find Shinglebacks in this part of Australia.

These are absolutely huge skinks by any American measure, but compared to the other Shingleback subspecies, the ones on Rottnest Island are actually quite small.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.

Subspecies:

Tiliqua rugosa palarra

Shark Bay Shingleback

Denham, Western Australia, Australia
Shark Bay Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa palarra)
Shark Bay Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa palarra)
Shinglebacks are familiar backyard friends to many Australians. They get along well in household gardens, helping themselves to the snails that infest such gardens, and perhaps to some nice produce here and there as well. This one was meandering across the patio of the villas in Denham that we had planned to occupy. (We ended up abandoning them and staying in Monkey Mia instead.) It looks like a wee bit of garden is sticking out of this skink's mouth.

The Shinglebacks in the Shark Bay area have somewhat less blunt ends than the other subspecies. You can see that this one's snout and especially tail are considerably pointier than the other subspecies I photographed.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.

Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Western Australia, Australia
Shark Bay Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa palarra)

We drove back and forth across the Denham - Monkey Mia road numerous times unsuccessfully searching for thorny devils. This goofy lizard was a worthwhile consolation prize though.

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

Subspecies:

Tiliqua rugosa rugosa

Common Shingleback

Walyunga National Park, Western Australia, Australia
Common Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa rugosa)
Common Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa rugosa)
Common Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa rugosa)
The day after I saw my first wild Shinglebacks on Rottnest Island, I saw a couple more at Walyunga National Park near Perth. These were the larger T. r. rugosa subspecies. Shinglebacks are quite slow-moving and charming creatures, but when one feels cornered it will gape wide and flash its blue tongue in an attempt to appear frightening. I'm not really sure whether the wide gape and big head means that they bite hard; I didn't perform that particular experiment.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.

Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Common Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa rugosa)
Common Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa rugosa)

This fine fellow, the first Shingleback that my sister Mary had seen, was really living up to the name “Sleepy Lizard”. Mary pointed out that it was more like a toy-store rubber lizard than an actual lizard in appearance, texture, and disposition.

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