Added 15 March 2006

The Scincidae


A genus similar to Anomalopus but lacking the ectopterygoid, and with one species possessing limbs. In the limbless species the prefrontals are large and in contact or narrowly separated, whereas Anomalopus have small to moderate and widely separated prefrontals.

Other common characteristics of the genus are: snout pointed and wedge-shaped; ear opening represented by a depression; moveable lower eyelid; sharp recurved teeth; scales smooth and glossy.

Coeranoscincus are usually found in rainforest, burrowing in moist soil, under leaf litter and in rotten logs. The diet is invertebrates, possibly earthworms.

C. frontalis, Limbless Snake-Tooth Skink C. reticulatus, Three-Toed Snake-Tooth Skink  

Scientific Name Common Name Distribution Size Notes
C. frontalis Limbless Snake-Tooth Skink Australia (Queensland) SVL 25-29 cm Found on the Atherton Tableland and its escarpment, in rainforests on coastal ranges and lowlands. Scalation details: nasals separated; prefrontals large, narrowly separated or in contact; 2 loreals each side; 3 supraoculars; postmentals contact 2 infralabials each side. Dorsal scales in 28-32 rows at midbody. Preanals very enlarged. Coloration: dorsally mid- to dark-brown with obscure darker flecks; darkish collar may be present. Grey-brown midlateral stripe which may be separated from dorsal coloration by narrow pale line or be completely absent. Head may be paler. Dark patch or series of spots around and below eye and on supra- and infralabials. Ventrally white or cream except on throat which has a dark streak that may join the dorsal coloration via a vertical bar through the ear. Juveniles are prominently striped with white heads blotched with brown and a dark blotch on the ear. Reproduction: no details available.
C. reticulatus Three-Toed Snake-Tooth Skink Australia (New South Wales, Queensland) 18cm SVL Found in subtropical coastal rain- and wet sclerophyll forests. It shelters in rotting logs or in soil under fallen timber. Has tridactyle limbs. The tail tapers to a fairly fine point. Scalation details: nasals separated; prefrontals moderately large and separated; 1 elongated (sometimes 2) loreals each side; 3 supraoculars; postmentals normally contact 2 infralabials each side. Dorsal scales in 24-28 rows at midbody. Preanals moderately enlarged. Coloration: dorsally brown, yellow-brown or grey with flecks of dark brown. Usually some trace of a black collar; often small dark brown spots on dorsum. Ventrolateral and ventral scales paler brown; dark streaks on scales tend to form narrow longitudinal lines. Ventrally may have a finely reticulated pattern. Throat has dark brown streaks. Juveniles are cream to brown with irregular narrow dark transverse bands that are more prominent to the front of the body; wide dark brown patch on head extends over each eye with another on the nape; flanks speckled finely with brown. Reproduction: 2-6 eggs per clutch.


Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Harold Cogger, 6th edition.

A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia, Steve Wilson and Gerry Swan, Reed New Holland, Sydney, 2003.

Links have a useful listing of Australian Skinks, including some common names which are not found in some books.

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