As a defensive behaviour, the Pulau Tioman dibamid lizard makes itself look wrinkled by flaring the outer dorsal scales mimicking the syntopic toxic earthworm.
The Pulau Tioman dibamid lizard belongs to the family Dibamidae (legless lizards) which diverged from all other lizards over 65 million years ago.
This species does not live in any protected areas, the main threat to this species is tourism and its island home is undergoing development for both residential and tourist areas, degrading and removing the forest required for this species.
The islands that the Pulau Tioman dibamid lizard lives on are within the boundaries of a protected marine park – however this does not provide and protection for the land. It is recommended that the islands’ forest are included in this protected area system. Further research into the trends in abundance and the impact of habitat change is required.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Dibamidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: stable
This species is only known from the islands of Tioman (Pahang State) and Tulai (Johor State) in the Seribuat Archipelago, Malaysia, with an area estimated to be 226km².
Habitat and Ecology
The Pulau Tioman dibamid lizard is fossorial (burrowing into soft soil) living in soft soil under surface objects such as rocks or logs. It lives in a range of habitats from the edge of mangrove swamps tolowland and hill resin tree forests.