Habitat Selection by 2 Closely Related Skinks, Egernia-Modesta Storr and Egernia-Whitii Lacepede (Lacertilia, Scincidae)
DA Milton and JM Hughes
Australian Wildlife Research
13(2) 295 - 300
Abstract'The habitat and microhabitat preferences, and times of activity, of the skinks Egernia modesta and E. whitii were examined in southern Queensland where they coexist in a narrow zone. The above parameters were compared between locally sympatric and allopatric populations, in an attempt to determine whether there was evidence of niche separation in sympatry. E. modesta preferred open habitats with little canopy cover and high grass cover, adjacent to rocky retreats. E. whitii preferred rocky areas with well developed canopy and shrub layers. Both species were active throughout the day, although E. modesta was active later than E. whitii. No evidence was found of competition restricting habitat preferences where the two species coexisted. It is suggested that human disturbance has had some influence on current distributions of these species.
© CSIRO 1986