The Madras spotted skink is an incredibly rare limbless lizard that was originally described from a single individual found in 1917, and it has only been found once since, in 2003!
The Madras spotted skink is part of the Scincidae family, which diverged from all other reptiles around 80 million years ago, about the time that humans and slow lorises shared a common ancestor.
The Madras spotted skink is found in the forest of Orissa. This area of India is highly fragmented as there has been extensive deforestation for fuel-wood and agricultural expansion. Slash and burn practices are common and the area is also under pressure from livestock grazing. Because of this, the total range for this species is unlikely to exceed 50 km2.
There are currently no species specific conservation measures in place for the Madras spotted skink but this species does occur in one protected area, the Nandankanan Biological Park. further research on the ecology and population status of the species is urgently required.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Scincidae
- Population: Rare
- Trend: unknown
This species is found in Orissa, India, occurring at elevations between 10 and 50 metres above sea level. It has been found at two localities: Barkuda Island and the Nandan Kanan Biological Park
Habitat and Ecology
The Madras spotted skink burrows in loose earth around the roots of trees. It is a nocturnal species which feeds primarily on insects. It is found in scrub and semi-evergreen forest.