Nature conservation

Threatened species

Blue Mountains Water Skink - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Eulamprus leuraensis
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 04 Mar 2024


A medium sized lizard that weighs up to 10 g. Adults have a maximum total length of approximately 200 mm, with the distance between the nose and anal opening up to about 80 mm. Its body is much darker than that of the other species of Eulamprus found in the Blue Mountains. The back is very dark brown to black with narrow yellow/bronze to white stripes along its length to the beginning of the tail, and continuing along the tail as a series of spots. This gives the appearance of a distinctive dark dorsal stripe bordered by yellow lines. The legs and sides are dark brown to black with yellow to bronze streaks and small blotches. The head is brown to bronze with black flecks and the underside is cream to golden yellow with small dark blotches. The limbs are well developed and each has five toes.


Restricted to the middle and upper Blue Mountains west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains Water Skink is known from approximately 70 threatened highland peat swamps extending from the Newnes Plateau in the north-west to just south of Hazelbrook in the south-east. It is possible that additional locations will be identified, and these may lie outside the currently known distribution. Recent genetic work has established that populations on the Newnes Plateau are genetically and morphologically distinct from populations in the Blue Mountains. Each local population is also genetically distinct, even from populations less than 0.5 km away. Dispersal between populations appears to be very rare and appears to involve mostly males.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Blue Mountains Water Skink occurs at high elevations between 560 m and 1140 m. Genetic research indicates that individual populations are genetically distinct especially between Newnes Plateau and Blue Mountains populations.
  • It is restricted to an isolated and naturally fragmented habitat of sedge and shrub swamps that have boggy soils and appear to be permanently wet. The vegetation in these swamps typically takes the form of a sedgeland interspersed with shrubs, but may occur as a dense shrub thicket.
  • The biology and ecology is poorly understood. Dispersal appears to be male biaised, however gene flow between populations is so low that recolonisation after disturbance is likely to be low or non existent.
  • The Blue Mountains Water Skink is semi-aquatic and is active on warm, sunny days from September until late April.
  • It feeds on grasshoppers, flies, moths, weevils and wasps. A small fruit with a seed was found in a lizard dropping at Leura.
  • Females give birth to live young in late December.
  • When disturbed, this species has been observed to flee to shelter in dense grass tussocks or down holes.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Predicted None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None