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Malayan Butterfly Lizard
   
   

Fig 1




 

Family : LEIOLEPIDAE
Species : Leiolepis triploida
Size (snout to vent) : 15 cm
Size (total length) : Up to at least 40 cm

The Malayan Butterfly Lizard occurs in habitats such as plantations (rubber, oil palm), fruit orchards (the example shown here was found in a coastal grove of cashew trees) and areas with similar disturbance.

Butterfly Lizards need somewhat loose soil in which it is easier to dig their burrows.  Grismer (2011) reports unearthing this species up to 1.5 metres below ground level in areas of deep soil.

This is a parthenogenetic species i.e. there is a single sex (female) which reproduces by cloning. Males do not exist.

The species can be identified on the basis of the thin, pale bars on the flanks, and the long thin stripe which extends along each flank from the base of the tail to at least near the shoulder. On the back are numerous pale brownish spots, each containing a small, central whitish dot.

The Malayan Butterfly Lizard occurs in southern Thailand, including Phuket Island, and western parts of northern Peninsular Malaysia. The species is not recorded from the islands of Langkawi or Penang.


Fig 1 : Malayan Butterfly Lizard Leiolepis cf. triploida on the island of Phuket, southern Thailand. It was active at the side of a dirt track passing through a cashew plantation.


References : H11