eCite Digital Repository

Feeding ecology of the Tasmanian spotted skink, Niveoscincus ocellatus (Squamata : Scincidae)


Wapstra, E and Swain, R, Feeding ecology of the Tasmanian spotted skink, Niveoscincus ocellatus (Squamata : Scincidae), Australian Journal of Zoology, 44, (2) pp. 205-13. ISSN 0004-959X (1996) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/ZO9960205


The feeding ecology of the spotted skink, Niveoscincus ocellatus, was examined over a 6-month period, from October to March, with additional data from one sample in midwinter. The investigation considered feeding activity, dietary composition and foraging strategy. Feeding activity,measured by stomach fullness, was unrelated to age, sex or reproductive status and showed little variation during the warmer months; in winter feeding was greatly reduced. N. ocellatus exhibits flexible foraging behaviour; a wide variety of terrestrial arthropods is taken opportunistically in accordance with a wide ranging foraging strategy. However, the consistent occurrence of cryptic and hidden prey indicates that active search foraging is also utilised. No evidence for ambush predation was found and, unlike many other small skinks, few arboreal or aerial prey are included in the diet, even though the habitat is rock scree and woodland where such prey abound. No evidence for any in a specific partitioning of diet based on kind or size of prey was obtained although a slight, but significant, correlation exists between maximum prey size and lizard size.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
UTAS Author:Swain, R (Dr Roy Swain)
ID Code:8842
Year Published:1996
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1996-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22

Repository Staff Only: item control page