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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Spotted Forest Skink

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


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

The Spotted Forest Skink is an elusive lizard of primary or disturbed secondary forests to elevations of around 1000 metres.

The species is considered uncommon, however the reality may be that its small size, camouflage and secretive habits simply make it hard to find. It is typically seen on shady, moss-covered rock outcrops, as well as adjacent tree trunks.

The body and tail are slender, and the forelimbs and hindlimbs are equally long and slender. The background colour is medium brown, and the dorsum and flanks are patterned with cream and dark brown spots. The throat and belly are pale. The eye is of typical shape for a Sphenomorphus skink. The eyelids are pale, and the lower eyelid scaly. The lips are pale, flecked with dark spots.

The species ranges from southern Thailand, through Peninsular Malaysia, including Pulau Tioman, to possibly Sumatra. It has not been recorded from Singapore.

Fig 1 : This specimen was seen foraging on moss-covered boulders at Penang Hill, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Specimen from Sungai Bantang, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia, displaying the shyness which is typical of the species.

Fig 3 : The specimen in Figure 2 took shelter in the mossy growth on the left of this boulder.

Fig 4 : Specimen with damaged tail consuming a wasp or other winged insect.  Seen at Penang Hill, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia.

References : H1, H3