Wild Blotchies December 2009 - November 2012.

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El Lobo
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Wild Blotchies December 2009 - November 2012.

Postby El Lobo » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:31 pm

This thread has been edited to include pictures of when we first saw this female basking in our backyard in December 2009, through her gravidity until the birth of a litter in March 2010 and the subsequent finding of some of the litter 11 months later after their first brumation.

We feel very privileged to have this happen in our backyard and would like to share with others who enjoy these magnificent wild skinks.

December 12, 2009

Showing scarring from recent mating.

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March 6, 2010

Two weeks before birthing.

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March 20, 2010

Babies are born.

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Returning to the original post.

One of the backyard blotchies was out basking this morning so I took the opportunity for some pics. They are now 11 months old and have grown a bit but are still quite small. We had to remove a couple of ticks from behind the left shoulder, not as common a spot as the ear.

February 20, 2011

From this morning.

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Seems to be a deformity or injury as the tongue leans to one side rather than coming out straight.

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Front of mouth is indented.

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Still is a nice little highland though.

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Last edited by El Lobo on Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Jeff » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:35 pm

Gorgeous skink El Lobo! It definitely shows the difference between pampered captive blueys and wild ones, but it looks like that one is growing and doing well. Thanks for posting the pictures, and I hope you continue when you see him in the future.
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Postby Scotts1au » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:40 pm

looks like she has been through the wringer. Thanks for that.
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Postby Katrina » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Wow - thanks for posting those! Still very small, but looks like a cute little sausage. Definitely shows the difference between captive, pampered guys and wild ones like Jeff mentioned.

I see why Clancy decided to stay with you...
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Postby Nae » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:04 pm

I love blotchies!! They are so big and squidgy looking!! lol!

Nae~ =D
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Postby El Lobo » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:25 pm

Scotts1au wrote:looks like she has been through the wringer. Thanks for that.


Scott, I am wondering if you see this kind of deformity/injury in wild skinks? Although this is the first time I have seen it in our backyard ones I have found more than a couple of others with problems around the mouth. I had put it down to possible fighting but that would be fairly unlikely with this one.

The temptation was to take her inside and get her seen by a vet over the next week but I decided that she is a wild animal and that is where she belongs. The body condition does not seem to indicate there is harm being caused and she is well capable of a full defensive display. I never have the camera ready when that happens. :doh:
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Postby Nae » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:28 pm

I find wild blueys with mouth/nose deformities to be quite common, some seem to be from fights, others when they are born. But they all do just fine =D

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Postby Richard.C » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:23 pm

looks like an old injury,looks to be growing quite well for a wild one,carrying good condition,missing tail tip and nose/mouth injury appears its done well to continue on,there hardy buggers,most of the ragged looking ones around here are easterns,and it looks like they have run ins with dogs a lot,theres a big wild eastern that lives in our yard that is especially ragged,missing front foot,lots of healed wounds on neck and back,and tail and stomach,but amazingly in great health
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Postby Zach » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:27 pm

Richard.C wrote:looks like an old injury,looks to be growing quite well for a wild one,carrying good condition,missing tail tip and nose/mouth injury appears its done well to continue on,there hardy buggers,most of the ragged looking ones around here are easterns,and it looks like they have run ins with dogs a lot,theres a big wild eastern that lives in our yard that is especially ragged,missing front foot,lots of healed wounds on neck and back,and tail and stomach,but amazingly in great health




Wow. Sounds horrific, but what a site to see in the wild that must be. They are tough, aren't they.

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Postby Lea » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:21 am

Richard, hi, nice to see you around again! I agree, so many wild easterns look a little beaten up with dents and damaged scales, nips off the limbs or tails and often an old wound on their flanks or backs. It's sad, in a way, as most injuries appear to be the result of mowers/lawn edgers etc, but still, there are injuries from animal bites and probably altercations with other blue tongues. They tell a story about the hardships of living in the wild and what they go through to survive each day. I have seen hundreds and hundreds, but I still can't describe the hyper excitement I get at every new one I see in the wild!

I adore this one's little deformity. It makes it even more impossibly irresistible and endearing.

Thank you for the pictures, Norm!
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Postby ssr » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:01 pm

Thanks. I liked seeing the comparison in growth and condition from last year.
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Postby Scotts1au » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:12 pm

Unfortunately I used to work in an environment where I did take out a few blueys, even shinglebacks when mowing in long grass - and lots of beardies. Still haunts me.

Someone posted photos a year or two ago of an Eastern (on another site) that had its body completely opened (exposed organs and all) up after being hit by a mover and reappeared a year later all healed up.
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Postby El Lobo » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:08 pm

I had a bit of a look around in the longer grass today and found one relaxed sleepy skink. Not a very good pic as she has her tail over her nose. and the grass is long.

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An example of how hard you need to look to find them.

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Last edited by El Lobo on Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby critterguy » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:49 pm

Seems blotchie patterning blends in remarkably well with dry grass. Do Easterns spend more time in shadier areas? Their pattern(and also that of Northerns with the portholes) seems like it'd be ideal camouflage in the dappled shade of a large bush.
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Postby Katrina » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:29 am

Wow - great pics!

Is that the same one, or do you have several in the area? The tail markings appear to be the same...
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Postby Richard.C » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:56 pm

my captive blotches hibernate in grass just how that one in the pic appears,sometimes they are in the dirt more though so there backs at ground level,perfect circle holes they just fit into all curled up

i used to mow lawns for a living,once we accidently damaed a large eastern with the ride on mower,we had alot of near misses,luckily in long grass we never had the blades down to low,one place we saw blueys all the time,which is where we accidently killed one,they had a spa there and unfortunatly being at ground level with a cover on,it seemed to attract alot of blueys,as there wer numerous drowned ones inside it,blotcheds and easterns,we felt bad enough for the one we killed,seeing a spa full was a shocking site,we made a plywood cover to sit the padded cover on top of so there were no gaps for the blueys to enter,which worked a treat
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Postby El Lobo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:13 pm

Katrina wrote:Wow - great pics!

Is that the same one, or do you have several in the area? The tail markings appear to be the same...


I'm certain it is the same one due to the very tip of the tail missing but having her nose tucked under prevented me looking for the mouth injury to positively identify.

I believe there are more around from the litter of last March. We initially found 4, 1 alone and then another 3 all grouped together very soon after birth. I would take a guess of litter size around 8 but this one, plus the dead one from a couple of months ago, are the only positive sightings. Interestingly, where she was curled up was only about 2 meters from where she was born.

Our backyard is rather ordinary with no lawn or formal garden but a few areas of long grass deliberately left for these blotchies to shelter. One neighbour complains all the time and maintains she gets snails in her garden because they come from our unkempt side. The snails we find are fed to our blueys and I did find a few empty shells which suggests the wildies are also eating them. Because we will not use any chemicals in the yard she also has a moan about a few clump of blackberries which are classified as a noxious weed. The leaves are excellent food for the rabbits, particularly if they go off their food and we de-thorn the canes, dry them in the oven and give them to the rabbits as natural chew sticks for dental maintenance. Really, if you want to have an English cottage garden, why live in a National Park?

Because I KNOW there are blotchies out there I am very cautious about cutting the grass for all the above reasons outlined by Scott and Richard.
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Postby Katrina » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:54 pm

I didn't know you live in a National Park! Wow, that is really interesting. The laws must be different in Australia, in Canada you can't live in a National Park unless you are Native American and can prove that generations have been living their, or in an approved townsite like Jasper or Banff - but those towns have strict laws and find it difficult to expand / develop.

I'd love to have the problem of wild blackberries in my backyard. Not as much as I'd love having wild Blotchies in my backyard, though!
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Postby El Lobo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:08 pm

Katrina wrote:I didn't know you live in a National Park! Wow, that is really interesting. The laws must be different in Australia, in Canada you can't live in a National Park unless you are Native American and can prove that generations have been living their, or in an approved townsite like Jasper or Banff - but those towns have strict laws and find it difficult to expand / develop.

I'd love to have the problem of wild blackberries in my backyard. Not as much as I'd love having wild Blotchies in my backyard, though!


The blackberries can be a bit of a pain and I do acknowledge the need to keep them under control, but we make use of them.

The National Park was declared after settlement and it is also the main traffic route to the west of the state, so a little different to your North American examples. There is virtually no industry, especially heavy industry allowed and a lot of restrictions on where you can build. In more recent times the Blue Mountains has also been World Heritage listed.
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Postby Katrina » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:31 pm

Google has revealed that Blue Mountains became a National Park in 1967, as compared to Banff in 1885 - so yes, very different examples!

Canadian Parks (especially Banff and Jasper area - west coast) are a generally different from most examples, as they were declared National Parks before humans really moved in and exploited... Banff became a park in 1885 in hopes of attracting tourism, rather than later in history in an attempt to save what is left.

Beautiful area to live.

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