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 probably will 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.
Eastern Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)
A medium snake (to 1.2 m), found mainly in the proximity of water.
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.
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.
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.
Common Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides)
Widespread and common large (to 60 cm), slow-moving lizard, found in both bush and residential areas.
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).
Jacky Lizard; Tree Dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus)
This is the only 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.
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).
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.
This Checklist of Reptiles of the Mount Alexander region is based on observations for the region recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia.
|Common Name||Species Name||Notes|
|Eastern Snake-necked Turtle||Chelodina longicollis|
|Murray Turtle||Emydura macquarii|
|Marbled Gecko||Christinus marmoratus|
|Thick-tailed Gecko||Underwoodisaurus milii|
|Wood Gecko||Diplodactylus vittatus|
|Jacky Lizard||Amphibolurus muricatus|
|Many-lined Delma||Delma impar||FFG - Endangered|
|Patternless Delma||Delma inornata|
|Highlands Forest-skink||Anepischetosia maccoyi|
|Southern Forest Cool-skink||Carinascincus coventryi|
|Eastern Ctenotus||Ctenotus orientalis|
|Robust Ctenotus||Ctenotus robustus|
|Black Rock Skink||Egernia saxatilis|
|Cunningham's Skink||Egernia cunninghami|
|Southern Water-skink||Eulamprus tympanum|
|Pale-flecked Garden Sunskink||Lampropholis guichenoti|
|Dark-flecked Garden Sunskink||Lampropholis delicata|
|South-eastern Slider||Lerista bougainvillii|
|White's Skink||Liopholis whitii|
|South-eastern Morethia Skink||Morethia boulengeri|
|Tussock Cool-skink||Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii|
|Weasel Skink||Saproscincus mustelinus|
|Blotched Blue-tongue||Tiliqua nigrolutea|
|Eastern Blue-tongue||Tiliqua scincoides|
|Lace Monitor||Varanus varius||FFG - Endangered|
|Blackish Blind Snake||Anilios nigrescens|
|Proximus Blind Snake||Anilios proximus|
|VENEMOUS LAND SNAKES|
|Lowland Copperhead||Austrelaps superbus|
|Eastern Small-eyed Snake||Cryptophis nigrescens|
|White-lipped Snake||Drysdalia coronoides|
|Tiger Snake||Notechis scutatus|
|Little Whip Snake||Parasuta flagellum|
|Red-bellied Black Snake||Pseudechis porphyriacus|
|Eastern Brown Snake||Pseudonaja textilis|
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