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Rainbow skinks
Carlia - Gray, 1845

Pronunciation: KAR-lee-ah
Etymology: thought to be meaningless.

Taxonomic notes:

Many members of this genus were moved to either Lygisaurus or Liburnascincus in 2008.1

Notes:
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 27 out of 27 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: northern red-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia crypta) at cm
 Longest Australian species: black-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rostralis) at 7 cm
Number of Australian species: 27
 

two-spined rainbow-skink (Carlia amax)
Western Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
two-spined rainbow-skink (Carlia amax) distribution range map Carlia amax
Two-spined rainbow-skink
Year described
Storr 1974
Description
Two keels on dorsal scales.

No thumbnail available northern red-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia crypta) distribution range map Carlia crypta
Northern red-throated rainbow-skink
Year described
Singhal, Hoskin, Couper, Potter & Moritz 2018
Description

elegant rainbow-skink (Carlia decora)
Mating Pair. Alligator Creek, Queensland.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
elegant rainbow-skink (Carlia decora) distribution range map Carlia decora
Elegant rainbow-skink
Year described
Hoskin & Couper 2012
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

sandy rainbow-skink (Carlia dogare)
Cape Flattery, Queensland
Photo © Ray Lloyd
sandy rainbow-skink (Carlia dogare) distribution range map Carlia dogare
Sandy rainbow-skink
Year described
Covacevich & Ingram 1975
Description
Two keels on dorsal scales.

slender rainbow-skink (Carlia gracilis)
Litchfield National Park region, Northern Territory
Photo © Richard Reams
slender rainbow-skink (Carlia gracilis) distribution range map Carlia gracilis
Slender rainbow-skink
Year described
Storr 1974
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

Whitsunday rainbow-skink (Carlia inconnexa)
Whitsunday Island, Queensland. Breeding male.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Whitsunday rainbow-skink (Carlia inconnexa) distribution range map Carlia inconnexa
Whitsunday rainbow-skink
Year described
Ingram & Covacevich 1989
Description
Generally, two keels on dorsal scales; sometimes a mix of two and three keels.

No thumbnail available Kimberley islands rainbow-skink (Carlia insularis) distribution range map Carlia insularis
Kimberley islands rainbow-skink
Year described
Alfonso Silva, Santos, Ogilvie & Moritz 2017
Description

Monsoonal three-keeled rainbow-skink (Carlia isostriacantha)
North Kimberley, Western Australia
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Monsoonal three-keeled rainbow-skink (Carlia isostriacantha) distribution range map Carlia isostriacantha
Monsoonal three-keeled rainbow-skink
Year described
Alfonso Silva, Santos, Ogilvie & Moritz 2017
Description

lined rainbow-skink (Carlia jarnoldae)
Chillagoe, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
lined rainbow-skink (Carlia jarnoldae) distribution range map Carlia jarnoldae
Lined rainbow-skink
Year described
Covacevich & Ingram 1975
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

rough brown rainbow-skink (Carlia johnstonei)
North Kimberley, Western Australia
Photo © Henry Cook
rough brown rainbow-skink (Carlia johnstonei) distribution range map Carlia johnstonei
Rough brown rainbow-skink
Year described
Storr 1974
Description
Two keels on dorsal scales.

closed-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia longipes)
Cooktown, Queensland
Photo © David Fischer
closed-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia longipes) distribution range map Carlia longipes
Closed-litter rainbow-skink
Year described
(Macleay 1877)
Description
Ear lobules - sharply pointed on all sides. Smooth dorsal scales, or with three very weak keels.

shaded-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia munda)
Elsey National Park, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
shaded-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia munda) distribution range map Carlia munda
Shaded-litter rainbow-skink
Year described
(De Vis 1885)
Description
Dorsal scales smooth.

open-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia pectoralis)
Breeding male. Theodore, Queensland.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
open-litter rainbow-skink (Carlia pectoralis) distribution range map Carlia pectoralis
Open-litter rainbow-skink
Year described
(De Vis 1885)
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

No thumbnail available five-keeled rainbow-skink (Carlia quinquecarinata) distribution range map Carlia quinquecarinata
Five-keeled rainbow-skink
Year described
(Macleay 1877)
Description
Dorsal scales smooth, or with only very weak keels.

blue-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rhomboidalis)
Mt Ossa, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
blue-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rhomboidalis) distribution range map Carlia rhomboidalis
Blue-throated rainbow-skink
Year described
(Peters 1869)
Description
Dorsal scales smooth.

crevice rainbow-skink (Carlia rimula)
Wenlock River, Queensland
Photo © Henry Cook
crevice rainbow-skink (Carlia rimula) distribution range map Carlia rimula
Crevice rainbow-skink
Year described
Ingram & Covacevich 1980
Description
Four to five very weak keels on dorsal scales.

black-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rostralis)
Girringun National Park, Queensland
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
black-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rostralis) distribution range map Carlia rostralis
Black-throated rainbow-skink
Year described
(De Vis 1885)
Description
Ear lobules - well-developed only on anterior margin. Dorsal scales smooth or with three week keels.

orange-flanked rainbow-skink (Carlia rubigo)
Breeding male. Magnetic Island, Queensland.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
orange-flanked rainbow-skink (Carlia rubigo) distribution range map Carlia rubigo
Orange-flanked rainbow-skink
Year described
Hoskin & Couper 2012
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

red-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rubrigularis)
Millaa Millaa Falls, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
red-throated rainbow-skink (Carlia rubrigularis) distribution range map Carlia rubrigularis
Red-throated rainbow-skink
Year described
Ingram & Covacevich 1989
Description
Dorsal scales smooth.

red-sided rainbow-skink (Carlia rufilatus)
Berry Springs, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
red-sided rainbow-skink (Carlia rufilatus) distribution range map Carlia rufilatus
Red-sided rainbow-skink
Year described
Storr 1974
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

robust rainbow-skink (Carlia schmeltzii)
Breeding male. Barakula State Forest, Queensland.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
robust rainbow-skink (Carlia schmeltzii) distribution range map Carlia schmeltzii
Robust rainbow-skink
Year described
(Peters 1867)
Description
Two (Cape York Peninsula to Townsville) or three (Townsville and south) keels on dorsal scales.

six-toothed rainbow-skink (Carlia sexdentata)
Pascoe River, Queensland
Photo © Ray Lloyd
six-toothed rainbow-skink (Carlia sexdentata) distribution range map Carlia sexdentata
Six-toothed rainbow-skink
Year described
(Macleay 1877)
Description
Dorsal scales are smooth, or with three weak keels.

brown bicarinate rainbow-skink (Carlia storri)
Wenlock River, Queensland
Photo © Henry Cook
brown bicarinate rainbow-skink (Carlia storri) distribution range map Carlia storri
Brown bicarinate rainbow-skink
Year described
Ingram & Covacevich 1989
Description
Two keels on dorsal scales.

southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)
Breeding male. Bowenville, Queensland.
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla) distribution range map Carlia tetradactyla
Southern rainbow-skink
Year described
(O'Shaughnessy 1879)
Description
Dorsal scales are smooth, or with weak keels.

desert rainbow-skink (Carlia triacantha)
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
desert rainbow-skink (Carlia triacantha) distribution range map Carlia triacantha
Desert rainbow-skink
Year described
(Mitchell 1953)
Description
Three keels on dorsal scales.

lively rainbow-skink (Carlia vivax)
Townsville, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
lively rainbow-skink (Carlia vivax) distribution range map Carlia vivax
Lively rainbow-skink
Year described
(De Vis 1884)
Description
Two keels on dorsal scales.

Cape Melville Rainbow Skink (Carlia wundalthini)
Melville Range, Queensland
Photo © Conrad Hoskin
Cape Melville Rainbow Skink (Carlia wundalthini) distribution range map Carlia wundalthini
Cape Melville Rainbow Skink
Year described
Hoskin 2014
Description
"Distinguished from congeners by combination of interparietal fused with frontoparietal, smooth dorsal scales, small–medium size (max SVL to about 49 mm), male breeding colour consisting of orange flush down side of neck and flank and pale chin and throat, round to horizontally elongate ear opening with sharp triangular lobule at front of ear and similar sharp lobules at least across the top of ear and often around entire margin"2

References
  1. Dolman, G. & Hugall, A.F. (2008). Combined mitochondrial and nuclear data enhance resolution of a rapid radiation of Australian rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 49(3):782-794. - search web for this article
  2. Hoskin, Conrad J (2014). A new skink (Scincidae: Carlia) from the rainforest uplands of Cape Melville, north-east Australia. Zootaxa, 3869(3):224-236.
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