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Emerald Tree Skink

Check out the emerald tree skink.

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Distribution: Taiwan, Philippines, eastern Indonesia, Micronesia, New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Habitat: Mangrove swamps, coastal forest, coconut plantations.


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Diet: Insects, flowers and fruit.

Max. length: 100mm SVL (220mm TL).

Reproductive strategy: Oviparous with clutches of 2 eggs.

The diurnal emerald tree skink is an extremely widely distributed species with the capacity of colonizing islands as a hitchhiker on palm trees carried on storms to foreign shores. Although brightly coloured, the skink is easily overlooked on a grey tree trunk, until it moves and gives its position away. Emerald tree skinks vary from totally emerald bright green to green with a brown back, drab olive or blue-green, usually with black scale edging between each scale. Since olive to brown colouration is usually associated with terrestrial skinks, it has been suggested that the olive populations may be closest to the ancestral tree skinks.

Sources for more information:
Greer A.E., 1970, The relationships of the skinks referred to the genus Dasia. Breviora 348:1-30.

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McCoy M., 1980, Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Wau Ecology Handbook No.7. vi+80.

Mys B., 1988, The zoogeography of the scincid lizards from North Papua New Guinea (Reptilia: Scincidae). I. The distribution of the species. Bulletin de L'Institute Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. 58;127-183.