Lampropholis: the new “laboratory” animals
Two species of Lampropholis skinks, Lampropholis delicata and Lampropholis guichenoti, commonly referred to as Penny or Garden skinks, have a predilection for disturbed areas. Both species have a widespread distribution over much of eastern Australia. Throughout most of their ranges they occur in overlap in a variety of habitats both disturbed and undisturbed, including suburban gardens. It is proposed that these species would make appropriate “laboratory” animals for undergraduate teaching, particularly animal ecology. They adapt well to captivity providing they are provided with adequate space and cover, food, water, and other appropriate environmental conditions such as light and temperature. Their attributes include adaptive capacity to captivity, small size, ease of capture and abundance. Also addressed are animal welfare issues of captive housing and use of native species in teaching.