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King's skink
Egernia kingii 2.jpg
Albany, Western Australia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Egernia
Species:
kingii
Egernia kingii distribution.png
Synonyms
  • Tiliqua kingii
    Gray, 1838
  • Egernia kingii
    — Glauert, 1960

King's skink (Egernia kingii) is a species of skink, a lizard in the family Scincidae. The species is endemic to Australia.

Etymology

The specific name, kingii, is in honor of Australian Phillip Parker King, who explored the coast of Australia while he was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Geographic range

King's skink is native to coastal regions of south-western Australia. It is common on Rottnest Island and Penguin Island and some coastal areas with open forest and open heath.

Description

King's skink is a large, heavy-bodied black skink that can reach a total length (including tail) of 55 centimetres (22 in) with a mass of 220 grams (8 oz).

Diet

King's skink is omnivorous and consumes mostly softer plant matter from the range of local vegetation, but supplements its diet with insects and birds' eggs.

As prey

King's skink is prey for many animals including tiger snakes (Notechis spp.).

History

A traditional name for King's skink is wandy, given by the Nyungar people of south-west Western Australia. The first European to draw a King's skink was the artist and naturalist Ferdinand Bauer who made a detailed drawing of one during Flinders' expedition in 1801.

Reproduction

Like many skinks, King's skink is viviparous, and after a gestation period of 20–22 weeks, gives birth to litters of 2–8 young that have a typical mass of 7 grams (0.25 oz). Juvenile mortality is high and growth to adult size is slow, so mature King's skinks can be quite long lived.

Kings Skink
King's skink near Albany, Western Australia
  • 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. (Egernia kingii, pp. 138–139).
  • Glauert L (1960). "Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Part 1. The genera Tiliqua, Trachysaurus and Egernia ". Western Australian Naturalist 7 (3): 67-77.
  • Gray JE (1838). "Catalogue of the Slender-tongued Saurians, with Descriptions of many new Genera and Species". Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., First Series 2: 287-293. (Tiliqua kingii, new species, p. 290).
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