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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Fraser's Hill Forest Skink
   
   

Fig 1
  

Fig 2


Fig 3
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

Family : SCINCIDAE
Species : Tytthoscincus bukitensis
Size (snout to vent) : up to 4.4 cm
Size (total length) : up to an estimated 6.6 cm

This diminutive skink is so far only known from the hill resorts of Fraser's Hill and Genting Highlands, in Peninsular Malaysia, where it occurs at elevations of over 1000 metres.

It inhabits the forest floor of montane, primary forest. It is rarely seen because of its small size and secretive habits: it is a typical leaf litter dweller which rarely ventures into open areas.

Unusually, the example shown here was observed crossing an area of open ground in the garden of a large bungalow.

In the field this skink can be identified by a small head (which is barely wider than the body), small limbs, a tail which is roughly 1.5 times head-body length and smooth body scales. Its colouration  comprises a ground colour that is orange brown, a broken dark brown stripe which extends from behind the eye to the middle of the body, and a pale, immaculate belly.

This skink was formerly included in the genus Sphenomorphus, but in 2016 was transferred to the genus Tytthoscincus (Grismer et al, 2016).


Figs 1 to 3 : Example from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia, found at an elevation of 1260 metres.


Reference : H11

Grismer, L. L., Muin, M. A., Wood Jr, P. L., Anuar, S. & Linkem, C. W. (2016). The transfer of two clades of Malaysian Sphenomorphus Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) into the genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos, & Brown and the description of a new Malaysian swamp-dwelling species. Zootaxa, 4092(2), 231-242..