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Shingleback Skink

Tiliqua rugosa

Did you know?

  • Shingleback skinks are part of the Scincidae family, which they share with over 1,500 skink species.
  • They are known by many names, including stumpy-tailed lizards, bobtail lizards, two-headed lizards and pinecone lizards.
  • They live in open habitats in southern and western Australia.
  • They have a painful, but non-venomous, bite.
  • A female will give birth to one to four large young skinks at a time.


Shingleback skinks have large heads, short blunt tails and large rough scales. Their tails resemble the shape of their heads, possibly helping confuse predators during an attack. They can regrow their tails if they lose them in an attack. Additionally, they are able to inflate their bodies to appear larger and more dangerous to potential threats.

Young and Family

Shingleback skinks are one of the few reptile species that exhibit monogamy. Pairs have been known to stay together for up to 20 years. They are viviparous lizards, which means they give live birth to live young (unlike most lizard species, which lay eggs). They generally have one to four large offspring.

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild


The Shingleback Skink is widespread and abundant.


Southern and Western Australia


Arid to semi-arid regions of southern and western Australia. Inhabits dry to arid open habitats, including woodlands, shrublands and coastal dunes

We care about Shingleback Skinks

We support this species in the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium at the Zoo. Learn more about how we are helping wildlife around the world.

Dedicated to Conservation

Find this animal in Historic Hill


Historic Hill

Historic Hill is a lovely stroll through one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo. From the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage to the Spanish architectural flavor of the 1920s in the Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium to the finishing touches of our thoroughly modern exhibits, this area of the Zoo has a unique ambiance and a nostalgic history that make it a great destination.

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