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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024

 
     
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
   
 
Banded Lipinia
   
   

Family : SCINCIDAE
Species : Lipinia microcerca
Size (snout to vent) : to 4.2 cm
Size (total length) : to ~ 10 cm

Lipinia microcerca (Banded Lipinia) is a diurnal and mainly arboreal lizard which occurs in diverse habitats in lowland and hilly areas of central and southern Vietnam, Cambodia, southern Laos and eastern Thailand. In Vietnam it occurs up to 1200 metres elevation. (Nikolay et al, 2019). 

Prior to 2019 this skink was treated as a subspecies of Lipinia vittigera (Yellow Striped Tree Skink).

The upperside of the tail is typically bright orange; this colour may extend onto the sides of the tail.

Nikolay et al (2019) describe the striped pattern of the type specimen (from Phuoc Son District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam) in great details as follows: "Thin middorsal light stripe from snout tip to tail base; two paravertebral dark stripes from supraoculars toward tail, continuing on anterior part of tail; two distinct dorsolateral light stripes; broad lateral dark stripe from temporals to anterior part of tail; one distinct lateral light stripe, separated from belly by narrow ventrolateral dark stripe or longitudinal patch of dark spots."

The example shown here, from Siem Reap, Cambodia, clearly agrees with the above description. Whilst being photographed this lizard was observed to wag, wave, wriggle and twist its highly flexible tail in the air above the body in what seemed to be a display behaviour.

This small skink forages on tree trunks, often in strong sunlight, for spiders and small insects, including ants.


Figs 1 and 2 : Example from Siem Reap, Cambodia on the trunk of a large tree.  The habitat comprised widely-spaced trees with no understorey; the ground was covered in dipterocarp leaves, short grass and weeds. Photos thanks to Derek Clark.


References :

Nikolay A. Poyarkov Jr., Peter Geissler, Vladislav A. Gorin, Evgeniy A. Dunayev, Timo Hartmann, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom (2019). Counting stripes: revision of the Lipinia vittigera complex (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae) with description of two new species from Indochina. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(5): 358-393.

 

 

Fig 1

ゥ  Derek Clark
 

Fig 2

ゥ  Derek Clark