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The cute Chinese Waterside Skink (Tropidophorus sinicus)

April 14, 2019

 

The Chinese Waterside Skink is a stocky, medium sized skink, growing up to about 15 cm in total length, which I sometimes encounter when i am stream walking; like a little crocodile, with its ribbed scales and long snout, and very at home in the waters of Hong Kong streams

As the photo below shows, they have a narrow head and pointed snout. Its labials are dark brown, with a few light grey or white vertical marks. It has a thick, muscular and laterally compressed tail. All scales except the ventral ones are strongly keeled.

This pretty lizard is active day and night. and as mentioned i often find it along streams. When disturbed, it often retreats into the water ,or hides under rocks. This species is ovoviviparous, giving birth to 3-6 young.

 


Lizards are the oldest inhabitants of the Earth, dating back about two hundred million years back. 

Usually, lizards possess a tiny head, small neck and an elongated body which ends with the tail. Sounds like my old gym teacher!
 

 

Skinks belong to the family Scincidae, which is the most diverse group of lizards, with about 1,200 species worldwide. Most are medium-sized lizards, with a maximum body length (snout to vent) of about 12 cm. They are characterised by a small head without a pronounced neck, elongated cylindrical body, smooth shiny scales, long tapering tail and relatively small legs. Some species even have no legs at all. As a result, they move more like snakes than do other lizards. Skinks are generally alert and active during the daytime, but tend to be secretive, spending much time foraging under leaf litter. Most are carnivorous, feeding mainly on insects, with some also preying on other small invertebrates and even other lizards and small mice. They can break their tails easily when confronted, but the tails will regenerate. Skinks are oviparous (egg-laying) or ovoviviparous (eggs hatch inside the female’s body before birth). During the breeding season, some species exhibit orange or red body markings to indicate sexual maturity. Different skink species exhibit various colours and patterns.

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