English name: Bowring’s Supple Skink
Scientific name: Lygosoma bowringii (Formerly Riopa bowringii)
Thai name: Ching-laen-reao Tong Loen
Description: To 12 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 5.8 cm. A small slender skink with small legs. Color on top of body is bronze to brown, often with indistinct dark lines. Sides are a mix of red-brown to dark-brown with white and black speckling, and often with a black line. Tail is about as long as body, brown on top and reddish-brown below. Underside is light, with large yellow section between the legs during the breeding season.
Similar Species: Short-limbed Supple Skink is more slender, has much smaller limbs, and lacks the speckling and breeding coloration.
Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, including forest, scrubland, plains, parks, empty lots, agricultural areas, and gardens. It is almost always under cover, such as rocks, logs, or leaf litter.
Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect and spider populations. Provides food for snakes and larger lizards.
Danger to humans: This lizard is too small to bite humans and poses no danger at all.
Conservation status and threats: Is a widespread and common species has no known conservation threats. Adapts very well to human-altered environments.
Interesting facts: This skink is one of the most common lizards in our region, but most people rarely see it. Dozens of them probably live in every empty lot and city park in Bangkok, and even in many of the yards and gardens. However, these tiny lizards spend most of their lives out of sight, hunting small arthropods in dirt, leaf litter, and decaying vegetation. They can occasionally be found by flipping over boards, logs, and rocks – otherwise, you might never know they were there.
Ecology Asia: Bowring’s Supple Skink
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia