Reptiles of the Mount Alexander Region

The Castlemaine region is home to a wide variety of reptiles, many of which occur in bushland and residential areas. We have representatives of the main Australian reptile groups (see Checklist below). Quite a few of our reptiles are small and several are nocturnal. Many are secretive in their behaviour so are seldom seen.


Our commonest snakes are DANGEROUSLY VENEMOUS and should not be approached or handled. Most snake bites occur when people are trying to kill the snake or handle it in some way. If you encounter a snake LEAVE IT ALONE! Watch and admire it from a safe distance but do NOT attempt to catch it or kill it. Wait for it to move away which it will probably do once it realises that you are present.

Remember that all reptiles are protected native wildlife.

Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis)
The most common snake in this district. Can grow to 2 m and shelters in or under logs or other cover.

Two males fighting. Photo: Euan Moore

Eastern Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)
A medium snake (to 1.2 m), found mainly in the proximity of water.

Photo: Euan Moore

Blackish Blind Snake (Anilios nigrescens)
A moderate sized (to 750mm) snake with small eyes found in woodlands and rainforest, usually beneath rocks and logs. One of two species in this group found in our region.

Photo: Ed Oram


The largest lizards in the region are the Goannas or Monitors. Other large lizards include the blue-tongue skinks and Jacky Lizard, a dragon. The smaller lizards include skinks, geckoes and some legless lizards.

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius)
The only goanna that is regularly seen in our area.  They can grow up to 2m in length.  They will often climb trees if disturbed.

Photo: Euan Moore

Shingle-back; Stumpy-tailed Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa)
These are quite long-lived lizards in the skink family that mate for life. They are often seen in pairs in late spring and early summer. Widespread and moderately common large (to 41 cm), slow-moving lizard.

Photo: Euan Moore

Common Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides)
Widespread and common large (to 60 cm), slow-moving lizard, found in both bush and residential areas.

Photo: Euan Moore

In addition to the two species of skink mentioned above our region is home to a number of smaller skinks. These are distinguished by their relatively long bodies and short legs and necks. With the local exception of Cunningham’s Skink, their scales are usually smooth and shiny.

The most common in this region is the Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti), and the least common are Cunningham’s (Egernia cunninghami) and Eastern Three-lined Skinks (Acritoscincus duperreyi). Also found in reasonable numbers are White’s (Liopholis whitii), Bougainville’s (Lerista bougainvillii) and Boulanger’s Skinks (Morethia boulangeri).

White’s Skink, Liopholis whitii, Photo: Euan Moore

Jacky Lizard; Tree Dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus)
This is the most common dragon that occurs in our region. Jacky Lizards are moderately large (10-12cm head-body) with a long tail and spiny scales. They are found in open woodland where they will often bask on branches and dead sticks.

Photo: Cathrine Harboe-Ree

Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)
Eastern Bearded Dragons are rare in our region although there have been several reported sightings in recent years and they may be becoming more common. They are a large robust lizard (< 27cm head-body) with a long tail and many spiny scales. They have a characteristic beard of spines around the throat which is often blackish. They are found in open woodland where they will often bask on fence posts, branches and dead sticks, sometimes several meters above the ground.

Photo: Win Jodell

Geckos are small nocturnal lizards. Their skin has a soft, velvety appearance. The most common gecko in the district is the Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus). This species is often found in the home, sometimes in small colonies. Two other geckos, generally uncommon, are the Thick-tailed or Barking Gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii) and the Eastern Stone or Wood Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus).

Marbled Gecko, Christinus marmoratus. Photo: Euan Moore


Turtles are common in rivers, wetlands and farm dams across the region. There is only one species of turtle recorded in our region although the Murray Turtle, Emydura macquarii, occurs nearby in the Loddon and Campaspe Rivers.

Common Long-necked Turtle; Eastern Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

This is the common turtle found in this region. It is a semi-aquatic reptile living in larger rivers, dams and waterholes.

Photo: Euan Moore


This Checklist of Reptiles of the Mount Alexander region is based on observations for the region recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia.

Common NameSpecies NameNotes
Eastern Snake-necked TurtleChelodina longicollis
Murray TurtleEmydura macquarii
Marbled GeckoChristinus marmoratus
Thick-tailed GeckoUnderwoodisaurus milii
Wood GeckoDiplodactylus vittatus
Jacky LizardAmphibolurus muricatus
Eastern Bearded DragonPogona barbataFFG - Vulnerable
Many-lined DelmaDelma imparFFG - Endangered
Patternless DelmaDelma inornata
Highlands Forest-skinkAnepischetosia maccoyi
Southern Forest Cool-skinkCarinascincus coventryi
Eastern CtenotusCtenotus orientalis
Robust CtenotusCtenotus robustus
Black Rock SkinkEgernia saxatilis
Cunningham's SkinkEgernia cunninghami
Southern Water-skinkEulamprus tympanum
Pale-flecked Garden SunskinkLampropholis guichenoti
Dark-flecked Garden SunskinkLampropholis delicata
South-eastern SliderLerista bougainvillii
White's SkinkLiopholis whitii
South-eastern Morethia SkinkMorethia boulengeri
Tussock Cool-skinkPseudemoia entrecasteauxii
Tussock SkinkPseudemoia pagenstecheriFFG - Endangered
Weasel SkinkSaproscincus mustelinus
Shingle-backTiliqua rugosa
Blotched Blue-tongueTiliqua nigrolutea
Eastern Blue-tongueTiliqua scincoides
Lace MonitorVaranus variusFFG - Endangered
Blackish Blind SnakeAnilios nigrescens
Proximus Blind SnakeAnilios proximus
Lowland CopperheadAustrelaps superbus
Eastern Small-eyed SnakeCryptophis nigrescens
White-lipped SnakeDrysdalia coronoides
Tiger SnakeNotechis scutatus
Little Whip SnakeParasuta flagellum
Red-bellied Black SnakePseudechis porphyriacus
Eastern Brown SnakePseudonaja textilis

Further reading:

Baker, K., Birkenbeil, A., Nicholas, H., Native Plants and Animals of the Chewton Bushlands, Chewton, Chewton Bushlands Asssociation, 2017.

Tzaros, Chris, Wildlife of the Box-Ironbark Country, Melbourne CSIRO Publishing, 2021.

Wilson, S., Swan, G., A Complete Guide to the Reptiles of Australia, Sixth Edition, New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd. 2021