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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Sabah Slender Skink
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2
 

Fig 3

 

 

 

 

 

Family : SCINCIDAE
Species : Sphenomorphus sabanus
Size (snout to vent) : 5 cm
Size (total length) : 13 cm

This colourful species of skink occurs in damp, lowland rainforest up to elevations of 850 metres. It is diurnal and mainly arboreal : typically it is encountered clinging to the huge buttress roots of various species of dipterocarp. The species also inhabits leaf litter, where it is less likely to be observed.

In the gloom of the forest floor this lizard appears quite dull in colour, but under sunlight or flash photography complex patterning and colouration is revealed. Body colours include yellowish-orange and various shades of brown, with a faint bluish or purplish tinge. Its tail has vague thin, pale banding.

Its body is thickset and its tail moderately thick at the base : the tail is under twice the length of the body. Its lips are adorned with black and white barring of approximately equal thickness. Its eyes are large.

The species feeds on various insects such as beetles, grasshoppers and moths.

The Sabah Slender Skink occurs only on the island of Borneo : in some parts of lowland Sabah (northeast Borneo) it appears to be locally abundant.


Figs 1 and 2 : Two specimens found on the buttressed trunks of huge dipterocarp trees.

Fig 3 : Specimen found active amongst mossy logs on the forest floor.

All photos from Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo


References : H3