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







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

Sphenomorphus scotophilus (Spotted Forest Skink) is an elusive lizard of primary or disturbed secondary forest, occurring at elevations of up to 1000 metres or so.

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

Its body and tail are slender, and its forelimbs and hindlimbs are equally long and slender. Its background colour is medium brown, and its dorsum and flanks are patterned with cream and dark brown spots. The throat and belly are pale.

Its almond-shaped eyes are of typical shape for a Sphenomorphus skink. The eyelids are pale, and the lower eyelids are scaly. Its lips are pale, flecked with dark spots.

It's diet comprises small insects.

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

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

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

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

Fig 4 : Example active on a tree trunk at the base of Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut), Taiping, Perak 

References : H1, H3