19 June 2016

Schneider’s Skink at Al Mehfar Park - Thanoumah

Whilst birdwatching the Al Mehfar Park area of Tanoumah in June I came across a Skink on a set of large boulders. I had not seen the species before, and was unaware of its identity, so sent it to Mansur Al Fahad who kindly identified it as a Schneider's Skink Eumeces schneideri. They are also known as Berber skink, is a species of skink endemic to Central Asia, Western Asia, and North Africa. They have 22 to 28 scales round the middle of the body, perfectly smooth, the laterals smallest, those of the two median dorsal series very broad and larger than the ventrals. When pressed against the body, the limbs just meet or fail to meet. The size from snout to vent is 16.5 cm and with tail is 20 cm. They are Olive-grey or brownish above, uniform or with irregular golden-yellow spots or longitudinal streaks; a yellowish lateral streak, extending from below the eye to the hind limb, is constant; lower surfaces yellowish white. They are a diurnal ground-dwelling lizard that usually inhabit areas with good (steppe-like) vegetation cover and scattered rocks and stones. In Saudi Arabia, it is often found in well-vegetated wadis at high altitudes.