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Sheen Skinks

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Distribution: Eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Habitat: Coconut plantations and rainforests.

Diet: Spiders, insects and smaller skinks.


Max. length: 110 mm SVL (240 mm TL).

Reproductive strategy: Oviparous with clutches of up to five eggs.

There are two species of Eugongylus recorded for New Guinea and the Solomons, but although I have found E. rufescens all over Papua New Guinea, I have yet to locate a specimen I could consider the other species, E. albofasciolatus. The two species are primarily separated by their midbody scale counts, which overlap and can cause confusion: 26 to 34 in E. albofasciolatus and 32 to 38 in E. rufescens. This strong, stout-bodied, brown skink with iridescent scales is found occasionally within the coconut husk piles and it has been observed to feed on other smaller skinks such as Carlia or Emoia. Juvenile sheen skinks are red-brown with narrow transverse white crossbands.

Sources for more information:

De Rooji, N. 1915. The reptiles of the Indo-Australian archipelago Vol.I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. E.J. Brill, Leiden. xiv+384.


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.