Philippine Giant Forest Skink is MBG’s Wildlife of the Month for June 2024

The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Wildlife of the Month (WOM) for June 2024 is the Philippine Giant Forest Skink scientifically known as Sphenomorphus cumingi (Gray, 1845). This skink is endemic to the Philippines; recorded from Mindanao, Bohol, Dinagat, Leyte, Samar, Luzon, Mindoro, Calotcot, Sibuyan, Lubang, and Sicogon Islands. It ranges from close to sea level to around 1,170 m asl.

This species is found under leaves and logs as well as in open spaces on the forest floor. They are also observed in dry stream beds and caves. They inhabit both dipterocarp tropical moist forests and secondary-growth forests.

Its body is large and robust, with adults being longer than 115 mm Snout-Vent Length (SVL); distinct large supranasal scales in contact medially, occluding frontonasal contact with the rostral; and supraoculars seven or eight. It is brown, with black interrupted cross bands, sides black above, with yellow oblique cross bands, beneath pale yellow; throat with black spots.

Threats to this wildlife include habitat loss due to deforestation. It is also hunted for local consumption by certain tribal groups although it is unlikely a significant threat to the species. Large-scale mining in some areas is likely to impact the species there.

By: JBBalatibat, AALimpiada, MMCaña

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *