Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Blue-throated Litter Skink

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3











Species : Sphenomorphus cyanolaemus
Size (snout to vent) : 6 cm
Size (total length) : 14 cm

This slender-bodied skink inhabits lowland rainforest up to elevations of 850 metres. It prefers largely to remain on the forest floor, searching amongst leaf litter for its prey, but is also known to climb short distances up tree trunks. It probably feeds on forest floor insects.

The species is identified by the dark dorso-lateral band which runs along the length of each flank : this is adorned above and below by yellow-gold flecks, spots or blotches. Its dorsal surface has a complex pattern of yellow-brown and dark brown mottling. Males are pale blue on the forward part of the flanks and on the throat, and the dorsal surface is more gold in colour.

Its body is slender, its head relatively small, and its eyes large. Its lips are adorned with black and white barring, with the white bars being much thicker than the black. Its tail is more than twice the length of its body, and its limbs are long.

The Blue-throated Litter Skink occurs in Peninsular Malaysia and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Fig 1 : Gravid (i.e. egg carrying) female from Sungai Bantang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. The lizard was spotted two metres above the forest floor on the buttress of a large tree.

Figs 2 and 3 : Female specimen seen at Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo.

References : H11