Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - bogeye

This is a Bogeye. He's not from the coast but from inland. I took this photo a few years ago when we lived in central western NSW.

A Bogeye is also called a Shingleback (pretty easy to see why!), and can also be called a stumpy-tail lizard, Boggi, sleepy lizard, bobtail lizard, two headed lizard, pine cone lizard (Australia's pretty obvious when it comes to lizard names, isn't it?).

Bogeye's are the bulkiest of the Blue Tongue Lizards (you can see the coastal one here). They always remain west of the Great Dividing Range (which is why they aren't on the coast).

They're not fast moving lizards. My dog, Ellie, had a thing for them. She could hunt them out anywhere (they must have a distinct scent). She would delicately pick them up around their middle and bring them in to me (like a cat gifting you a mouse). I've no idea why she did it, but they were mighty cranky by the time they arrived at my feet. Ellie would look at me like she was the best dog in the world, and the Bogeye would be hissing and spitting, mouth wide open, trying to scare me. They have a really pink mouth whith a huge ribbony blue tongue, which they point and poke at you. As you try to pick them up, they try to spin and whirl and they can give a nasty bite. Lucky for me, they're slow moving!

The Australian Museum site has some info, including this:

Shingleback Lizards live alone for most of the year, but between September and November reunite as monogmous pairs. Shinglebacks in western New South Wales are often seen crossing roads in pairs, the male following the female. The same pairs may re-form in the mating season over several years.

Female Shinglebacks give birth three to five months after mating, between December and April.
The embryos develop in the female's oviduct with the help of a placenta, which is as well-developed as that of many mammals. At birth, the young eat the placental membranes, and within a few days shed their skin for the first time. The young are ready to look after themselves straight after birth, and disperse within a few days.

The Shingleback has usually only two or three young that measure up to 220 mm in total length and weigh as much as 200 g.


  1. I love these guys. We call them bobtail goannas here (WA), but hubby (SA) calls them 'sleepy lizards'. There's a great wine in SA by the way, called Shingleback.

    1. You guys have cool names for you lizards!

      Cate xo