Shedding Skin: What You Need to Know About Shingleback Lizards

If you’ve ever seen a shingle-back lizard, you know they are unique-looking creatures. Their spiky backs and earthy colors make them easy to recognize in the wild. But do these lizards shed their skin like other reptiles? We’ll explore this and more in this blog post about shingle-back lizards.


Do shingle-back lizards shed their skin?


Yes. Like other reptiles, shingle-backs shed their skin periodically throughout their lives to remove parasites or when growing larger.

This process is known as molting or ecdysis—an important part of a reptile’s life cycle.

During molting season (which usually occurs every few months during warmer weather), these lizards will rub against rocks and other surfaces to help them shed their old skin.

It typically takes 2-3 days for a shingle back lizard to shed its skin fully—and during that time, it may have a duller coloration than usual.

Unlike most other lizards, shingle-backs don’t shed in a single piece like snakes do – instead, they go through a much lengthier (and fascinating) process.

First, they will stop eating until their entire body produces keratin “plugs,” which eventually separate from the animal.

Having done so, the lizard will then rub or scratch itself against rocks and other objects to rid itself of its old skin – slowly but surely in patches over several days or weeks.

And when all is said and done, this molting beast has emerged with a brand new coat of scales. How extraordinary it is to witness such wonderful acts of nature up close.


Are there any uses for the shredded skin?


Though the sight of a shedding shingle-back lizard can be quite off-putting, it’s an important part of the species’ natural life cycle and for their overall health.

But did you know that these shed skin flakes are put to use? Pelts harvested from shingle-backs are used to craft hats, wallets, and other accessories with a unique style.

It’s pretty amazing how the humble little sheddings of this spunky little blastoid can be transformed into someone’s much-treasured new accessory – one simply dripping with reptilian charm.

.Some people believe all reptiles should remain undisturbed in the wild, so if you want to keep a few shed skins, try not to disturb shingle-backs while doing it.


What Do Shinglebacks Eat?


In the wild, shingle back lizards eat various insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, worms, and fruits and flowers.

In captivity, these lizards should be fed high-quality insectivore food supplemented with fresh vegetables such as collard greens or squash. It is important to note that these lizards must not be overfed—as this can cause health issues down the line.


Shingleback Lizards Basics


Shingleback lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), also known as bobtails or Stumpy Tail Lizards, are native to Australia and can be found in the wild throughout New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.

These lizards get their name from the distinctive “shingles” of scales on their back. They can reach up to 18 inches long, with males typically larger than females.




When you think of reptiles shedding their skin, your mind might go straight to snakes—but did you know that shingle-back lizards also molt?

Yes! Like other reptiles, these unique-looking Australian creatures shed their skin periodically throughout their lives to remove parasites or when growing larger.

While they do molt just like any other reptile species out there, it’s important to remember that feeding them too much can cause health issues down the line so make sure you keep track of how much your pet eats

Mike Grover

Mike Grover is the owner of this website (Reptiles and Amphibians), a website dedicated to providing expert care and information for these animals. Mike has been keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets for over 20 years and has extensive knowledge of their care. He currently resides in the United Kindom with his wife and two children. Reptiles and amphibians can make excellent pets, but they require special care to stay healthy and happy. Mike's website provides detailed information on how to care for these animals, including what to feed them, what type of housing they need, and how to maintain their health. Mike's website is a valuable resource for keeping your pet healthy and happy, whether you’re considering adding a reptile or amphibian to your family or you’re already a pet parent.

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