Extraordinary nature in Barrington Tops: Land mullets
No, not a 1970s footballer or rock’n roller lost in the rainforest, it’s a giant skink. Previously known as ‘Egernia major’ but now reclassified into the new genus Bellatoria, these scaled reptiles are only found in the rainforests of south eastern Australia.
The large moss-covered fallen logs you see in Barrington Tops are perfect habitat for land mullets. They shelter in the hollows or in burrows dug into the soil-bound root systems of these fallen trees.
Large adults can reach a total length of up to 60 cm. Their black-brown scales assist with rapid body warming & the restricted sunlight of the rainforest requires a number of basking sites to be available. Accordingly, they remain in close proximity to them… rather like the fans of those famous 1970s mullet-wearers Warwick Capper & Rod Stewart.
Land mullets are normally reported to be very shy, dashing noisily to the cover of dense low vegetation if disturbed. However, in some popular National Parks, the lizards have become habituated – scavenging close to humans for scraps at picnic and camping sites.
Land mullets do not hatch their young from eggs, instead they bear live young with 4 to 9 independent offspring per litter.
Largely solitary, they eat woody fungi, mushrooms, berries, seeds, insects such as beetles and grasshoppers as well as decaying fruit material.
This photo in Barrington Tops by www.instagram.com/warrennoronha
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With thanks to Wikipedia