One day late in my stay in Tanay I took a rare excursion off the trail and went looking for wildlife in one of the deepest, wildest areas, down near the stream where vegetation was relatively thick and the debris of the forest settled around the ground.
Hunting in that area I came across one of the neatest reptiles I’ve ever seen – the Philippines Spiny Stream Skink!
The Philippines Spiny Stream Skink is part of a unique group of lizards called “stream skinks” which like to spend time in water as well as land. But the Spiny Stream Skink is doubly unique due to the hard spiky scales that line its body as a defense against predators.
I let the lizard go and continued searching the forest, and just a few minutes later came across a second one. Look at those spikes! If you were a small animal searching for a lizard meal you wouldn’t want to mess with those. 🙂
It just goes to show what amazing creatures you can find in the forest when you really look.
Where do Philippine Spiny Stream Skinks live?
Philippine Spiny Steam Skinks are found near well-forested rivers and streams, preferring cooler habitats in the hills. They typically hide under the debris of the forest floor.
What do they eat?
They eat insects, worms, snails, slugs, and sometimes small fish or frogs.
Are they dangerous?
Not dangerous at all.
Are they in danger?
The Philippine Spiny Stream Skink seems to be a fairly common species, though it is rarely seen. Sometimes they are caught for the pet trade. They also could be threatened by the cutting of forests or disturbance of waterways in their areas.
What is their scientific name and classification?
The Philippine Spiny Stream Skink is referred to scientifically asTropidophorus grayi. It is a member of the skink family, a group of lizards that have smooth skin, long strong bodies, and are usually found on the ground. Of course, the spiny skink is one of the very few skinks that lacks the smooth skin.
Some people enjoy keeping stream skinks as pets because of their incredible appearance. Others are most excited by the joy of observing them in their natural habitat. There might be a place for both experiences. Which do you prefer?