Reptile revival

With the warmer weather arriving we can expect to see more reptiles wandering about in the bushland and on to paths. They have been taking it easy over winter but will now be much more active as summer approaches.

Being ectothermic (cold blooded), reptiles rely on warm weather to get moving. They will move out into sunny patches or onto warm surfaces to get their body temperature up high enough to go about their daily business. This might include looking for food or a mate, defending a territory or even basic functions like digesting a meal.

We have seen 16 species of reptiles in our bushland. All but one are harmless to people. The most commonly seen reptile would be the fence skink; you may even have them in your own garden at home. Another familiar reptile is the bobtail. Although completely harmless, it does like to put on an aggressive display if you approach too closely by opening its mouth wide, hissing and sticking out its blue tongue.

The dugite is our only dangerous reptile, but is non-aggressive, so it will usually move out of your way rather than attack. If you make some noise as you move around and don’t come up to it quickly, the snake will know you’re there and have enough time to get out of your way. Dogs can find themselves in trouble if they chase after the snake so keep them on a lead and on the path.