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







'Flores Banded Skink'

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 3



Species : Sphenomorphus striolatus
Size (snout to vent) : 5 cm
Size (total length) : 12.4 cm

Sphenomorphus striolatus was first described in 1890 by Weber (as Lygosoma striolatum), yet after more than a century it still lacks a common name, so it is informally named 'Flores Banded Skink' here. The type specimen of S. striolatus is from Reo, Mangarrai District, western Flores, Indonesia some 70 km east of Labuanbajo.

The species ranges from lowlands to around 1200 metres elevation and subsists on beetle larvae, ants, spiders and small scorpions.

The specimen illustrated here was found on a hot, sunny afternoon amongst dry leaf litter, in coastal, secondary scrub forest at Labuanbajo, western Flores. The specimen appears to be a fully grown adult. It shares many features which fit the description of S. striolatus in de Rooij (1915) and Auffenberg (1980).

The dorsal colour of this specimen is a rich bronze colour with a metallic sheen, becoming reddish around the shoulders. Vague, mottled dark bands traverse the back and extend some way onto the flank. The legs and tail are mottled black and gold. The digits on the hind feet are long and laterally compressed.

The snout is relatively short and blunt, and a dark stripe extends from the snout to the eye. Behind the eye another broken, dark stripe extends to the shoulder.

The belly and throat are pale and the labial scales above and below the mouth are white with dark edges.

The 'Flores Banded Skink' occurs on some islands of the Lesser Sundas (Nusa Tenggara) of Indonesia, namely Komodo, Rinja, Flores and Damma. Flores is by far the largest island amongst this group.

Fig 1 : Specimen from Labuanbajo, western Flores exhibiting many features of S. striolatus.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the head, showing the scalation, the short, blunt snout and white labials.

Fig 3 : Close up of the hind-leg, foot and long, compressed digits.

Fig 4 : Close-up of the base of the tail, mottled in gold and black.

References :

Auffenberg, W.  1980.  The Herpetofauna of Komodo with notes on adjacent areas. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences. Vol 25, No.2.

de Rooij, N., 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago, I Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. E.J. Brill Ltd. Leiden. xiv + 382 pp.