Scientific Name : Eutropis carinata
Family : Scincidae
Tamil Name : Aranai
Description: Several species of skinks of the genus Eutropis occur in India. The common skink is recognized by the presence of scaly lower eyelid. It is shiny brown, olive or bronze above, darker spots often present. A light band extends from behind the eye to the base of the tail. Its lower parts are white or yellow. Its flanks of the male become scarlet during the breeding season
Distribution and Status: Widely distributed in peninsular India but rare in Northwest. This is the commonest of the Indian skinks
Habitats: It is almost a commensal of man. Equally at home in semi urban areas and the forest, it is primarily a ground dweller.
Habits: It actively searches the ground litter for prey. A diurnal lizard often entering houses in its incessant search for prey. In the forest it is most often heard than seen as it searches for prey creeping through the litter on the ground occasionally surfacing to survey the surroundings. The lizard returns to a particular night roost.
Food: More or less exclusively insectivores but occasionally take on young ones of other lizards such as Garden lizard.
Life cycle: The common skink is ovoviviparous that is it gives birth to live young. Young are seen in May to June. Upto eight young are born in one litter.
Role in the environment: Like all skinks this is also cold blooded. Any change in the environment due to temperature can have a disastrous effect on the skink population.
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean