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We understand how difficult it can be to get information for people from the various cultures who have called Australia home. It is our hope that you will find the following information helpful and provide reassurance for you and your family.

Shinglebacks can be seen around Victoria, typically from Central Victoria across to the North-western Victoria region all the way to SA and NSW border. 

Shingleback Tiliqua rugosa aspera


How do I know I have a shingleback and not a snake?

Answer: Shinglebacks do have legs even though its not always obvious in long grass or when you first see the, they will often remerge after first been seen or just poke their head out from behind their home site. Snakes rarely do this behaviour and do not have legs. Shingleback have very large heads and short tail.

I fear the lizard and will it hurt my family or me? 

Answer: No, they will not. At first, these lizards can provide a fright due to being quick to hide or sometimes hiss like a snake. They will in no way can harm you or your family. They do love to eat snails and eat leaves, fruits and berries from plants. They will become more friendly and accept your presence once they too can get use to you.

Will lizards hurt my dog? 

Answer: No these lizards are usually more likely to be injured by dogs so teach your family pet not to chase or bite shinglebacks if you can.

Are shinglebacks venomous or poisonous? 

Answer: No, these lizards have no venom as we think of it like snakes and no fangs like snakes.

If I have a shingleback will it keep snakes away?

Answer: While snakes are foraging through yards they may come across a good hole or shelter site but if a blue tongue is in it this will deter snakes.

Will it stay here forever?

Answer: No these lizards tend to be roaming around large regions 2-8 hectares. However you may see them often on rural properties moving about.

When do they have babies?

Answer: Usually in late January through to May young are born live and are very cute and vulnerable to being eaten by kookaburras, falcons, snakes and other big lizards.

My dog just attacked a lizard and it is injured and not moving what should I do?

Answer: It is important to get help ring a veterinarian or  wildlife rescue organisation like Wildlife Victoria Inc. who will give advice and sometimes arrange help.

Can I get the lizards removed? 

Answer: Yes, there are snake catchers who are licensed and professionally can remove the lizards. They will charge for their services.

Can I kill or move the lizard myself?

Answer: No lizards and like all Victorian wildlife are fully protected by law and it is a clear offence to harm or kill lizards.

The team at Reptiles Victoria Inc hope this provides you some information and some reassurance. If you have any issues always try to seek further help.


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