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Category Archives: Skinks

Skinks outside of Bangkok

Several other Skink species can be found in Thailand outside of Bangkok. They include:

Reeve’s Smooth Skink
Reeves's Smooth Skink Scincella reevesii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streamside Skink
Streamside Skink 8-18-2011 Khao Yai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berdmore’s Water Skink
Berdmore's Water Skink Tropidophorus berdmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Water Skink
Thai Water Skink Tropidophorus thai

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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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Short-limbed Supple Skink

Lygosoma quadrupes

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes

Short-limbed Supple Skink found under log in Chatuchak

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes

Short-limbed Supple Skink from above

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes foot

Reduced foot and toes of Short-limbed Supple Skink

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes

Short-limbed Supple Skink found under rock in Lumpani

short-limbed supple skink Lygosoma quadrupes limpani

Short-limbed Supple Skink found in Lumpani (photo courtesy of Mourits Horst Lovholt)

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes light phase

A lighter phase Short-limbed Supple Skink found under log in Lumpani

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes underbelly

Underbelly of Short-limbed Supple Skink

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes

Short-limbed Supple Skink with distinct lines found under branch in Chatuchak

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes top of head

Top of head of Short-limbed Supple Skink

Short-limbed Supple Skink Lygosoma quadrupes

Head shot of Short-limbed Supple Skink

English name: Short-limbed Supple Skink (aka “Linneaus’ Writhing Skink”)
Scientific name: Lygosoma quadrupes
Thai name: Ching-laen-reao Ka Lek or Mea Ngu

Description: To 20 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 9.6 cm. An extremely elongated skink with very small legs. Color varies from grey to yellow-brown to bronze, with very thin dark lines running down the body. Head is small and slender. Tail is as thick as the body and about the same length. Legs and toes are so small they can often be hard to see and the skink will first appear to be a snake. Underside is lighter than rest of body and can have a pinkish tint.

Similar Species: Bowring’s Supple Skink is not as slender, has more distinct limbs, and usually has much more coloration.

Habitat: Naturally found in forests, but has adapted to agricultural land, city parks and empty lots. Usually found under rotten logs or in moist leaf litter and soil.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect populations, especially termites. Provides food for snakes and larger lizards.

Danger to humans: This lizard is far too small to bite humans and poses no danger to anyone.

Conservation status and threats: Is a widespread and common species that has no known conservation threats.

Interesting facts: The Short-limbed Supple Skink represents an extreme in leg evolution. The very small legs allow the skink to maneuver through dirt and rotting vegetation without its legs getting in the way. When trying to escape from predators, the skink will fold its legs against its body and wiggle like a snake.

References:
Biodiversity Research & Education Outreach: Lygosoma quadrupes
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

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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Bowring’s Supple Skink

Lygosoma bowringii

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii

Bowring's Supple Skink found under board in Ramkhamhaeng

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii breeding coloration

Close-up of Bowring's Supple Skink showing yellow breeding coloration

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii

Dorsal view of Bowring's Supple Skink

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii

Bowring's Supple Skink found under board in Uthai Thani Province

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii

Bowring's Supple Skink found under rock in Lumpani

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii

Bowring's Supple Skink found under log in Lumpani

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii hiding

Bowring's Supple Skink as found in leaf litter at Lumpani

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii head shot

Head shot of Bowring's Supple Skink from Uthai Thani Province

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii head shot

Head shot of Bowring's Supple Skink found under log in Lumpani

Bowring's Supple Skink Lygosoma bowringii head shot

Dorsal view of head of Bowring's Supple Skink from Ramkhamhaeng

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.

References:
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

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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Common Sun Skink

Eutropis multifasciata

Many-lined Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Common Sun Skink basking on trash in Dok Mai

Many-lined Sun Skink Mabuya multifasciata

Common Sun Skink found in trash in Uthai Thani Province

Common Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Head shot of Common Sun Skink showing yellow throat

Common Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Common Sun Skink found in Silom showing orange side striping

Many-lined Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Common Sun Skink basking on bush in Chatuchak

Common Sun Skink Mabuya multifasciata

Another Common Sun Skink found in Chatuchak

Many-lined Sun Skink Mabuya multifasciata

Common Sun Skink in Rangsit showing no dorsal lines

Common Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Subadult Common Sun Skink basking at Ko Samet

Many-lined Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata

Common Sun Skink with no dorsal lines in Phra Khanong

Common Sun Skink Mabuya multifasciata

Common Sun Skink with missing tail in Khao Yai

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.

References:
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

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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Speckled Forest Skink

Eutropis macularia

Speckled Forest Skink Eutropis macularia

Speckled Forest Skink found in abandoned gas station in Nakhon Sawan Province

Bronze Mabuya Eutropis macularia

Another view of Speckled Forest Skink

Bronze Grass Skink Eutropis macularia

Speckled Forest Skink found under board in Payao Province

Speckled Forest Skink Eutropis macularia head shot

Head shot of Speckled Forest Skink

Speckled Forest Skink Eutropis macularia Chiang Mai

Head shot of Speckled Forest Skink found on trail in Chiang Mai

Speckled Forest Skink Mabuya macularia

Speckled Forest Skink found in undergrowth in Laos

Bronze Grass Skink Eutropis macularia

Speckled Forest Skink on forest floor in Cambodia

Speckled Forest Skink (Eutropis macularia)

Speckled Forest Skink found in clearing in Bangladesh

Speckled Forest Skink (Eutropis macularia)

Close-up of Speckled Forest Skink

Speckled Forest Skink (Eutropis macularia)

Close-up of scales on Speckled Forest Skink, showing keels

English name: Speckled Forest Skink (aka “Bronze Mabuya” or “Bronze Grass Skink”)
Scientific name: Eutropis macularia (Formerly Mabuya macularia)
Thai name: Ching-laen Lak La

Description: To 18 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 7.5 cm. A slender skink of average size. Base color is brown to grey with a dark stripe on each side bordered with white or cream. Dark stripe can be speckled with white in adults and usually fades out into background color before reaching the hind limbs. Body scales can be iridescent in younger individuals. Head is no wider than body and narrows to the nose. Dark body stripe continues on head up to eye. Adults can have orange throat. Tail is somewhat longer than body. Underbelly is dirty cream.

Similar Species: Common Sun Skink is larger, heavier, and usually lacks striping on the sides.
Long-tailed Sun Skink is larger, has a much longer tail when showing original tail, and has more distinct body striping.

Habitat: Found in forest, preferring open forest. Usually forages or basks among low vegetation. Can also be found in plantations and abandoned lots.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect populations. Provides food for snakes and birds.

Danger to humans: May bite when handled, but is not dangerous.

Conservation status and threats: Is a widespread species and has no known conservation threats.

Interesting facts: Speckled Forest Skinks have a rough patch of scales on their ankles and a pocket of skin where the leg meets the body. The exact purpose of these scale features is unknown, but parasitic mites congregate in those areas. Some experts believe that these adaptations concentrate the mites in limited areas of the skinks’ bodies, minimizing their impact elsewhere on the skink.

I know of no records of Speckled Forest Skinks in the Bangkok area, but some local experts believe that it may be found here. They can be found in all other parts of Thailand.

References:
Ecology Asia: Speckled Forest Skink
Wikipedia: Eutropis macularia
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
Michael Cota, personal communication.
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia
The Lizards of Thailand

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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Long-tailed Sun Skink

Eutropis longicaudata

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata

Long-tailed Sun Skink found on window ledge in Kanchanaburi Province

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata

Long-tailed Sun Skink with regenerated tail in Phra Khanong

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata side view

Side view of Long-tailed Sun Skink

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata subadult

Subadult Long-tailed Sun Skink basking in Phra Khanong

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata

Long-tailed Sun Skink found in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson)

Long-tailed Sun Skink Mabuya longicaudata

Another Long-tailed Sun Skink found in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson)

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata head shot

Head shot of Long-tailed Sun Skink (photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson)

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata

Long-tailed Sun Skink in Cambodia (photo courtesy of Claudia Koch)

Long-tailed Sun Skink Mabuya longicaudata

Subadult Long-tailed Sun Skink in Cambodia (photo courtesy of Claudia Koch)

Long-tailed Sun Skink Eutropis longicaudata

Another young Long-tailed Sun Skink in Cambodia (photo courtesy of Claudia Koch)

English name: Long-tailed Sun Skink
Scientific name: Eutropis longicaudata (Formerly Mabuya longicaudata)
Thai name: Ching-laen Hang Ya

Description: To 50 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 14 cm. A smooth, slender lizard with an extremely long tail. Base color is brown with a wide dark brown to black stripe on each side thinly bordered with white or cream. Head is no wider than body and narrows to the nose. Black body stripe continues on head up to eye. Tail is extremely long, over twice as long as the body. If the skink has lost its original tail, the regenerated tail may be no longer than its body. Underbelly is cream to yellow, sometimes with a greenish tint.

Similar Species: Common Sun Skink is not as slender, has a shorter tail when showing original tail, and rarely has as distinct a body stripe.
Speckled Forest Skink is smaller, has a shorter tail when showing original tail, and has a less distinct body stripe.

Habitat: Naturally found in open forest or shrubland, but can live in empty lots near human habitations. Is often found above the ground in trees, shrubs, and walls.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect and worm populations. Occasionally eats plant material like fruit, seeds, and leaves. Provides food for large snakes and some birds of prey.

Danger to humans: Will bite when handled and can draw blood, but is not dangerous.

Conservation status and threats: Is a widespread species and is not currently facing population declines. However, a recent study has shown that the Long-tailed Sun Skink may have more difficulty reproducing in urban environments as temperatures rise due to climate change.

Interesting facts: Long-tailed Sun Skinks have been shown to exhibit some “parental care” of their eggs. This behavior, which has been observed in dozens of snakes, lizards, and crocodilians, involves staying with the eggs until they hatch. In the case of Long-tailed Sun Skinks, they appear to stay with the eggs in order to defend them from potential predators, especially egg-eating snakes.

References:
Hong Kong University: Eutropis longicaudata
Ecological Characteristics of the Skink, Mabuya longicaudata, on a Tropical East Asian Island
Parental care in the long-tailed skink, Mabuya longicaudata, on a tropical Asian Island
Orchid Island skinks impacted by global warming
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
Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles (2nd Edition)

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Lizards, Skinks

 

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