Gardening (With Shingleback Guest Star)

Today I pulled out a large dead shrubbery and discovered a guest:


Now, a scaly face in a yard might usually faze a more fragile person – but I quite like reptiles and I can spot a lizard easily enough. I’ve documented one previously:

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa)

Now, there’s a few reasons why I won’t keep this lizard in my yard – yes, they are great for snail control. But I have recently put down snail pellets, and since they eat the poisoned snails… my yard won’t be good for maintaining a healthy shingleback.

Secondly, I have cats and I can’t guarantee that they’ll leave it alone. Mind, there’s been a few times I’ve come home and found a cat or two sitting pleasantly on the lawn next to the local Quenda (they appear to think it’s a weird bug-eating cat), so my cats aren’t very aggressive sorts. Also, I’m going to be doing some more work in the yard and don’t want to risk upturning it again and again until I’ve got everything sorted out and with some hiding holes that’ll suit wildlife that wants to risk nosy cats.

Therefore – it’s scoop up the shingleback:


Try to avoid overly-stressing your shingleback by carefully popping it into a handy container for transport. Weight, about 300g / 10 ounces. Tongue - blue. Speed – slow, because I disturbed its sleep under the now binned-shrubbery and it’s in the shade. I’ll get it to the wilderness where it can warm up and trundle away.

Off to safety

There we go, one shingleback in the wild. Back to gardening!

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.