Saproscincus mustelinus

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Saproscincus mustelinus
Saproscincus mustelinus.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Saproscincus
Species: S. mustelinus
Binomial name
Saproscincus mustelinus
(O'Shaghnessy, 1874)
  • Mocoa mustelina
    O'Shaughnessy, 1874
  • Lygosoma mustelinum
    M.A. Smith, 1937
  • Lamropholis mustelina
    Greer, 1974
  • Saproscincus mustelinus
    Wells & Wellington, 1983[1]

Saproscincus mustelinus,[2] commonly known as the southern weasel skink, is a small species of skink which is endemic to Australia.

Weasel skink 2.jpg
Weasel skink1.jpg


S. mustelinus is usually nocturnal, but is most active in the evening and warm mornings.


S. mustelinus hunts and feeds on small insects and other small invertebrates.


The southern weasel skink is around 45 mm (1.8 in) from snout to vent, is covered in iridescent reddish brown (fine) scales, and has several distinctive white marks behind and below the eye.[3]

Defensive behavior[edit]

If frightened this skink has the ability to lose its tail as a defence mechanism; the tail lies on the ground twitching, distracting the predator so the skink can escape.[4][5][6]


Weasel skink habitat.jpg

[7] The southern weasel skink tends to utilize existing vegetation and fallen timber for shelter.

Geographic range[edit]

The southern weasel skink's distribution forms a coastal strip from south Victoria to southern Queensland.[8] [9]


Females lay up to four eggs per clutch in a communal nest. The nests are normally a dugout, an underground burrow, which contain the eggs of numerous females.[10] Laying normally occurs between spring and late summer.


Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1887). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume III. ... Scincidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 575 pp. + Plates I-XL. (Lygosoma mustelinum, p. 267 + Plate XIX, figures 2, 2a).
  • O'Shaughnessy AWE (1874). "Descriptions of new Species of Scincidæ in the Collection of the British Museum". Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Fourth Series 13: 298-301. (Mocoa mustelina, new species, p. 299).