The Harvey Heritage Gardens (just behind the Harvey Visitor Centre) is home to a generation of Pale-flecked Garden Sunskink or Common Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti), a small common skink often seen in suburban gardens.
It grows to a maximum of 14 cm, but rarely exceeds a size of 9 cm. According to statistics, the average Common Garden Skink lives up to 2–3 years. The Garden Skink usually has a browny black colour but may appear a dark red when bathing in the sun.
The female Pale Flecked Garden Sunskink has a yellow, almost orange tinge to her underside, however the males have a light grey tinge to their underside.
Garden skinks feed on larger invertebrates including:
- crickets, flies and grubs;
- moths, caterpillars and grasshoppers;
- slaters, cockroaches, earwigs and slugs;
- earthworms, small spiders and ladybirds;
- ants and other small insects.
They can also feed on fruit and cooked vegetables. Skinks especially love bananas and strawberries etc. (citrus fruit). Garden skinks rely purely on the movement of their prey when hunting. When hunting, the skinks will either hide and wait for prey to come by or actively pursue it (this depends on how hungry they are). Once they have caught their prey, they shake it around vigorously to kill it before swallowing it whole. Once they have had one meal, they begin to actively pursue prey for a short while with their new found energy. Skinks only need one prey item per 4 or 5 days, but will eat every day if conditions are good, thus, making it an ideal pet for small children and a good idea.
Skinks are often seen under leaves, in long grass and under rocks so that they can watch their prey, they also love hiding in logs where their big predators can't get them. As all reptiles are cold blooded, you may see them on top of rocks or paths in the morning trying to warm their blood. Skinks enjoy large areas with a lot of leaves and soft dirt. You normally find them around hot and dusty areas that have lots of trees and stumps.
The Garden Skink's predators are mainly birds. Even tiny birds like robins are a threat to skinks. Larger lizards and snakes will sometimes try to eat them as well. Like many other skinks, its tail will drop if grasped roughly. The disconnected tail will twitch vigorously for a while, capturing the attention of the predator while the lizard makes its escape. This survival tactic may seem hard for the skink to tolerate, but it is quite the opposite. Although it may cost the skink some energy, the skink's tail will eventually grow back.
The Common Garden Skink is oviparous and lays small, white eggs between summer and mid autumn. The female usually lays about six eggs, often in communal clutches that may contain as many as 250 eggs altogether, usually under a cluster of rocks to keep them safe from predators. The eggs hatch in a matter of weeks after they are laid.
This family of Skinks keep children and adults amused lazing around in the beautiful Australian sunshine at The Harvey Tourist Precinct.
Pacific Black Duck The delightful Pacific Black Duck family are also an attraction for children and adults