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







Streamside Skink

Species : Sphenomorphus maculatus
Size (snout to vent) : 6.7 cm
Size (total length) : up to 18.7 cm ?

Sphenomorphus maculatus (Streamside Skink; also 'Spotted Forest Skink' or 'Maculated Forest Skink') inhabits the vicinity of streams and small rivers in lowland and hilly areas. It can be found foraging amongst rocks and vegetation right at the waters edge.

In some locales this skink may venture further afield, for example the specimen shown in Figure 2 was around 30 metres from the nearest stream, on the tiled floor of an open-air restaurant. 

Its diet comprises insects and other invertebrates.

This skink can be identified by the broad, dark stripe which extends from the snout, through the eye, along the entire length of the body and to the tip of the tail. This stripe is adorned with pale speckles. On the flanks, beneath the dark stripe, is a mottled zone comprising yellowish and brown spots.

The upperside of the head, body and tail is brown, with smooth scales, and faint darker markings. The throat and belly are pale and immaculate.

Sphenomorphus maculatus occurs in parts of Nepal, eastern India and southern China, to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and possibly northernmost parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 1 :  Tentative example from Nong Khiaw, Laos, photographed around 10-15 metres from a stream. The dorsum appears more pale than most forms in the region, and there is just a faint lateral stripe on the tail. Photo thanks to Derek Clark.

Fig 2 : Example from Khao Yai, Thailand at an elevation of around 750 metres. It was around 30 metres from the nearest stream on the floor of a restaurant, perhaps drawn there by the presence of insects.

Fig 3 : Stream habitat at Khao Yai, Thailand, slightly swollen and silty with recent rain.

References : H11


Fig 1

ゥ  Derek Clark

Fig 2

Fig 3