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