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Meet the Eastern Pilbara spiny-tailed skinks!

If you’ve looked closely in Scaly Slimy Spectacular recently, you may have noticed that our rough knobtail geckos (Nephrurus amyae) have new roommates. These tiny little omnivorous lizards are Eastern Pilbara spiny-tailed skinks (Egernia epsisolus). Native to the Pilbara region of Western Australia, these skinks are part of the genus Egernia, which has been dated back in the fossil record nearly 20 million years to the Miocene epoch!

Like the other members of the Egernia genus, our little guys are considered to be highly social and very intelligent. They can tell the difference between family and non-family skinks and are even able to tell individuals in their family apart. Pilbara skinks are monogamous and will often live in complex extended family groups. Can these little lizards get any cooler? The answer is yes, of course! These skinks are viviparous, meaning they give live birth … and oftentimes they give birth to twins.

You may be asking yourself, do the knobtails like their new roommates? All is going smoothly, and you can often find our sibling skinks tucked into a rock crevice with our larger knobtail or sharing a dish of mealworms with our smaller knobtail. 

Be sure to stop by and check them out!

Char R.
Keeper II, Herpetology

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