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







Brown Tree Skink

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5



Species : Dasia grisea
Size (snout to vent) : 13 cm
Size (total length) : 28 cm

The Brown Tree Skink is a shy, diurnal lizard of lowland primary and secondary forest. It is characterised by a greenish-yellow underside and a series of dark bands across the medium-brown dorsum.

In juveniles the patterning comprises a series of dark spots on the head, yellow and brown bands across the dorsum, and a mainly yellow-orange tail with brown bands. Members of the genus Dasia, which are strongly arboreal, have a similar body size to skinks of the largely terrestrial Eutropis genus, such as the Many-lined Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata.

Individuals of this species may inhabit the same tree hole or crevice for many months, or even years. They will often bask in the sun at the entrance to their preferred hiding space, but will quickly retreat inside if disturbed.

This species is preyed upon by arboreal snakes, including Kopstein's Bronzeback Dendrelaphis kopsteini (see Figure 5, below).

This species ranges from Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippines. In 1994 the species was found for the first time in Singapore, and has since been confirmed as widespread but uncommon in the country's central forests.

Fig 1 : Example from Thomson Nature Park, Singapore, seen on the trunk of a huge fig whilst warming itself in the morning sun.

Fig 2 : Another example catches the last rays of the afternoon sun.

Fig 3 : Another specimen peering out from a hiding hole in a rotten tree.

Fig 4 : This specimen prefers to hide in a crevice in a rotten tree stump.

Fig 5 : Juvenile with banded tail being preyed upon by a Kopstein's Bronzeback Dendrelaphis kopsteini in secondary forest, Singapore.

All photos taken in Singapore.

References : H11