English Name : Sand Skink
Scientific Name : Eutropis bibronii
Family : Scincidae
Tamil Name : Mann Aranai
Description: It is the size of the common skink. It is recognized by the transparent window in the eyelid. It is brown above with a black bordered light vertebral stripe. Head scales enable identification.
Distribution and status: This is a common skink in the sand dunes of the sea coast from Orissa to Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. It is commonly found in the Spinifex littoreus vegaetation in the sand dune.
Habitat: An agile and active skink seen active in the Spinifex littoreus vegetation of the shore. It doesn’t venture far from the coast.
Habits They emerge in the morning to hunt and retreat to the shelter in the afternoon. This slink is highly sensitive to changes in sand temperature and mainly takes refuge in the beach vegetation during the heat of the day.
Life cycle : Egg laying commences in August and young are seen after the monsoon rains..
Role in the environment: As it is susceptible to changes in temperature of the sand any change in global sand temperature due to global warming will lead to local extinctions. A healthy sand dune ecosystem will have a healthy population of Sand Skinks.
Photo source: Dr.J. Subramanean