English name: Common Sun Skink (aka “Many-lined Sun Skink”)
Scientific name: Eutropis multifasciata (Formerly Mabuya multifasciata)
Thai name: Ching-laen Ban
Description: To 36 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 13.7 cm. A large, heavy-bodied skink. Bronze above, often with five to seven black lines going down the back. Side coloration is highly variable, sometimes bronze and sometimes dark with white speckles, often with reddish or orangish coloration on the front part of the sides. Head is narrower than body. Original tail is about one and a half times as long as body. If the skink has lost its tail, the regenerated tail may as long as its body or shorter. Throat and underbelly are cream to yellow.
Similar Species: Long-tailed Sun Skink is slender, has a longer tail when showing original tail, and has distinct striping on sides.
Speckled Forest Skink is smaller and usually has striping on side of body.
Habitat: Found in open areas, including forest clearings and edges, river banks, rock outcroppings, parks, empty lots, and near human habitations. Often seen basking on low branches, brush, or walls.
Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect, spider, and worm populations. Will eat smaller reptiles, including smaller skinks and blind snakes. Also eats some plant matter. Provides food for large snakes and some birds of prey.
Danger to humans: Will often bite when handled and can draw blood, but is not dangerous.
Conservation status and threats: Is a widespread and common species has no known conservation threats. Adapts well to human-altered environments. Is an invasive species in Taiwan, New Guinea, Australia, and the southeastern United States.
Interesting facts: Skinks can lose their tail when attacked by predators by having it pulled or bit off, and will regrow a new tail in its place. Studies have shown that a skink that has lost its tail does not swim as well while the tail is missing and loses the energy that is required to grow the new tail. Also, the skink cannot use the same defense mechanism against other predators if the tail is missing. Because of this, anyone trying to catch a skink should be very careful not to grab it by the tail or do anything else to cause it to lose its tail. Most of the time it is better to just observe the skink rather than catching it because of these potential negative effects.
Wikipedia: Eutropis multifasciata
Ecology Asia: Many-lined Sun Skink
Eradication of Many-striped Skink, Mabuya multifasciata, from Green Island
Many-lined sun skinks (Mabuya multifasciata) do not compensate for the costs of tail loss by increasing feeding rate or digestive efficiency
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