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Cebu Small Worm Skink

Brachymeles cebuensis


The Cebu small worm skink is a tiny legless skink, reaching a maximum length of only 7.4 cm.

The Cebu small worm skink is part of the Scincidae family of skinks which diverged from all other families around 80 million years ago, about the time that humans and slow lorises shared a common ancestor.

This species is only known from 13 collected specimens including the holotype (upon which the description and name of a new species is based) caught in 1957. Since then, it has possibly been collected at Busisam Dam.

As this species is so elusive, the population status is poorly known, although it is assumed habitat loss is a major threat to this species as much of the original forest in Cebu Island where this species is endemic has now been cleared. The remaining suitable habitat is threatened through conversion for agriculture, mango plantations and for flower production.

This species has a range of possibly less than 20 km2 and has not been recorded from a protected area. The protection of remaining forest fragments of tropical moist forest on Cebu is urgent for the conservation of this species.

  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Population: Unknown
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 55-74mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.55 (?)
ED Score: 15.063 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is endemic to Cebu Island in the Philippines.

Habitat and Ecology

The Cebu Small Worm skink is typically found in dry, rotting material inside or underneath decaying logs or in loose soil, forest floor detritus and leaf litter in primary and mixed secondary tropical moist forest. It is an ovoviviparous species, meaning eggs hatch inside the mother before being born as live young.


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