Common name: fence skink
Scientific name: Cryptoblepharus virgatus sensu lato
Conservation status: This species is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and it is ranked as a low priority under the department's Back on Track species prioritisation framework.
Fence skinks are silver-grey to pale brown, with an obvious white or silvery stripe from eye to tail. This spry little lizard can grow up to 10 cm long and its flat shape enables it to squeeze into small cracks and crevices.
Habitat and distribution
In nature they prefer trees and rock crevices in many different habitat types, from sclerophyll forests, heathlands, woodlands and grasslands. However, they also appear to be quite common in urban areas. They are common residents of homes and other buildings even inhabiting the CBD of large cities like Brisbane and Sydney. They can often be seen on vertical surfaces such as trees, walls and fences.
Fence skinks occur throughout southern and eastern Australia, including in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the southern part of Western Australia.
Life history and behaviour
The fence skink feeds on invertebrates such as small insects. It is quite an active hunter, but if threatened may play dead to confuse its attacker.
Cogger, HG 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th edition. Reed New Holland, Sydney, New South Wales
Ryan, M (Ed) 2007. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane. Revised edition. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland.
Wilson, S 2005. A field guide to reptiles of Queensland. Reed New Holland Press, Sydney, New South Wales.
Wilson, S and Swan, G 2003. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, New South Wales.
Wilson, S and Swan, G 2008. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia. Revised edition. Reed New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, New South Wales.