Reptilian Paradise

It appears I live in a reptilian paradise. I share the environs of my little house on the edge of the bush with at least five reptile species. There are little common garden skinks in large numbers around the garden – Calli likes to chase after them when I let her out (which has not been at all this Summer due to the high number of ticks in the area this year). Also numerous are a large species of skink (I’m not sure which species either of the skinks are, it’s a large group). Calli watches these ones from inside the house. She made such a fuss about one outside my bedroom window last month that I went outside and photographed it. If you look carefully, Calli is behind the lace curtain on the other side of the glass.

Large skink

Also quite common are the leaf-tailed geckos. I had them at my last home too. Soon after I moved here, I came home from work to find a baby gecko on the ceiling of the bathroom. I will never know what went on between the gecko entering the house, and ending up on the ceiling, and Calli will never tell… The one below was one I released from my dyepot in the garage last month. Last week, I found one behind Calli’s litter box in the laundry, and managed to get it out the back door before Calli knew about it. They may look cute, but they make high-pitched squeaking noises! This one was not happy with me. I think he liked living in the garage and didn’t want to move back outside.

leaf tail gecko

There are no blue-tongued lizards here. I’m not sure why – maybe because there are so many other lizards that there isn’t room for one. But I have a few other less common garden inhabitants. Both are known to my neighbours, but it has taken a while for us to meet. The first of these two large reptiles is an juvenile lace monitor (they grow much bigger than this one). One day last February, while working in the study, I heard something scraping against the outside of the spare bedroom window. Calli was watching it intently. This small lace monitor was attempting to climb up the window to gain entry and access to Calli. I think it saw her as a potential meal! I haven’t seen him lately, but the neighbours have.

Lace monitor

The last inhabitant is the largest! My neighbour showed me a skin he shed last year, so I knew he was around here somewhere, and big. We met yesterday. I got home, and found him sleeping in the garden bed beside where I park my car. He’s still there now, over 24 hours later. This overcast weather means he’s not very active. He’s a diamond python and I’d estimate he’s about 2 metres long. And he’s fat.

diamond python

With all the lizards here, several visitors said I wouldn’t have any snakes. Well I never believed that. I’m expecting to come across a brown or a red-bellied black snake in the grass around here one day. Might even add a blue-tongue to the lizard collection.

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