There are seventeen species of lizard found in the Tasmanian bush and of these seven are endemic to Tasmania. Lizards use external sources of heat to warm their bodies and become active, usually absorbing warmth from the sun or heated rocks. Some lizards have the ability to drop their tail to escape predators. The tail will grow back over time however the new tail growth will be different in colour and will not contain any bones. Llizards that you may spot in the Central Plateau area are the Mountain Dragon or Northern Snow Skink.  The Mountain Dragon (Rankinia diemensis) is Tasmania’s only species of dragon. A relative of the thorny devil, they have a spiny tail and large, diamond shaped markings down their back on each side. The colour ranges from grey to red with the diamond markings a paler shade. However, they can adjust their tone to suit the environment with darker pigment in cooler climates to absorb more warmth. Females can reach around 8 cm from snout to the base of the tail while males are slightly smaller. Mountain dragons tend to live in dry woodlands and heaths where there is plenty of sunshine. On the Central Plateau they can be found in open vegetation such as grassy woodland or open forest. Their diet consists of a variety of insects. Female Mountain dragons lay eggs in the soil during spring and summer that hatch at the end of summer.  The Northern Snow Skink (Carinascincus greeni) is endemic to Tasmania and lives in alpine areas such as the higher parts of the Central Plateua.  They prefer rocky habitat, sometimes near streams and are restricted to high altitudes.They have small dark scales which each have a greenish bronze coloured spots which can sometimes form stripes down the body. They can reach a length of up to 7.5 cm. Northern snow skins can raise their body temperature to up to 14 degrees above air temperature. Females give birth to 2-4 live young at the beginning of autumn every second year, having stored sperm over winter in the oviducts. 

Photo credit:  KeresH

Photo credit: KeresH