Blue Mountains City Council

Blue Mountains Water Skink
Blue Mountains Water Skink

They shelter and hibernate in disused yabby holes and thrive around sphagnum moss areas. Photo by: Ken Griffiths


Blue Mountains Water Skink

How to recognize the endangered Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis):

  • It is the only medium sized skink (up to 20cm long) you will see in or near Blue Mountains sedge and shrub swamps that is black in colour.
  • They have 2-4 yellow stripes along their back and yellow mottled spots on their sides. Juveniles only have two stripes along their backs while adults develop four stripes on sexual maturity.
  • It may be mistaken with Eulamprus heatwolei and Eulamprus quoyii (Eastern Water Skink) but these species are more olive-brown or coppery in colour especially along the back.
  • They very rarely leave the Blue Mountains Swamp environment ie buttongrass, Grevillea acanthifolia, blade grass, Glychenia dicarpa etc.
  • They are active in the warmer parts of the year ie September to late April and are thought to hibernate over winter.
  • They shelter and hibernate in disused yabby holes and thrive around sphagnum moss areas.
  • They are best seen on the first sunny day after rain.
  • They are shy and will disappear quickly. However they are inquisitive and will reappear to investigate after a couple of minutes. If you see a sudden movement of a disappearing creature in a swamp it could easily be a Blue Mountains Water Skink. It is simply a matter of sitting quietly until they re-emerge.
  • Obviously pregnant females are seen in December and give birth to live young in late December.
  • Juveniles are up to 8cm long by the end of February and grow to approximately 20cm on maturity as adults.
  • They eat predominately insects (including the endangered Giant Dragonfly) but also berries and native fruits.

Threats to Blue Mountains Water Skink include clearing, draining and mowing of swamp vegetation, sedimentation and weed invasion of swamps, deterioration of water quality, alterations to hydrological regimes including groundwater extraction, and predation by domestic pets and feral cats and foxes.
If you see the Blue Mountains Water Skink please contact the Threatened Species Officer, Michael Hensen on (02) 4780 5471.
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