Threats: Habitat loss and predation by cats and foxes
Will they visit?: Shrubland Morethia Skinks are well known to venture into home gardens located near coastal areas
Natural Distribution: Widespread and common throughout the South West and Perth region
Shrubland Morethia – (CC) Robert Browne-Cooper. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia License (Atlas of Living Australia)
Shrubland Morethia – (CC)Jo Virens. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia License (Atlas of Living Australia)
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Fallen logs, thick leaf litter, large rocks, and rockeries
Water: Shallow dish of water
ReWild Benefit: Pest control
Habitat Guide - Shelter
Shrubland Morethia Skinks rely on camouflage to survive and are adaptable to home gardens planted with shrubs, ground covers and a good layer of leaf litter or mulch. As their name suggests, a garden with dense shrubs and clumping grasses will provide additional protection. They are a coastal species and will enjoy open sandy areas around the garden to bask. Plenty hiding areas will help lizards escape and shelter from cats and dogs.
Below is a habitat box template for lizards. Ideally, install the box under some shrubs and surrounded by leaf litter. Before you build:
Nest-boxes are a long-term commitment and need maintenance and repair over time.
Chipboard is okay, but degrade after a year of use.
Hardier and untreated timber (i.e. Jarrah) will last longer and are less prone to attack by fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms.
Keep away from treated timber as this can emit fumes toxic to wildlife and their young.
Avoid using metal wire inside a box. A wooden ladder on the inside of the nest-box is much more suitable or grooved timber will work well.
Maintenance is critical to ensure wildlife remain safe.
Alternatives to a habitat box include large terracotta pipes or up turned pots partially buried under the ground and under shrubs. These mimic hollow logs or crevices under large rocks and provide excellent shelter.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Shrubland Morethia Skinks prey on invertebrates. Planting a variety of native plants in the garden will attract potential prey for lizards. These include flowering shrubs, ground covers, and clumping grasses. Mulch and leaf litter in the garden will provide additional foraging habitat.
Providing sources of water
A shallow water dish with pebbles or small stones will provide a safe place to drink. They are at risk of falling into frog ponds and drowning. Partly submerge a large rock with a gradual incline at the edge of a pond. This will provide lizards with an easy escape if they fall in.
Shrubland Morethia Skinks can help control pests around the home, benefiting our neighbourhoods as we work to drive a healthy environment for our community. If you see them in your garden, you can record your sighting on Atlas of Living Australia!