Chalcides colosii, also known as the Riffian Skink or Colosi's Cylindrical Skink, is a moderately-sized species of skink found in Morocco and some Spanish territories. It is named after Giuseppe Colosi, former director of the Zoological Institute of the University of Florence. It was once considered a subspecies of Chalcides ocellatus. The females of the species give birth to live young.
The population of C. colosii is most likely slowly declining, but it is not under any major threat. The IUCN gives it Least Concern status because, although its range is less than 20,000 km2, its habitat is extensive and is not severely threatened. Also, it is presumed to have a large population. Some possible threats to C. colosii include tourism and agricultural development.
C. colosii is found in Morocco, the Spanish exclaves Ceuta and Melilla, and the Spanish island Isla de Tierra (near Peñón de Alhucemas), but is not very common in the western part of this range. Its general abundance is not well known, but it lives in semi-arid or sub-humid areas up to an altitude of 1500 meters. It is most commonly found in rocky areas such as stone heaps or slopes with loose soil and partial grass cover. It can also be found near coastal sand dunes and grassland.
Coloration and distinguishing features
Although similar to the Ocellated Skink, C. ocellatus, C. colosii can be distinguished by its lack of ocelli and its dark lateral bands. C. colosii has a moderately dark lateral band in the center of its back bordered on either side with two darker bands. The remainder has a solid light color. Its adult size is generally between 6 and 12 cm.
- Catalogue of Life Species Details
- Miras, J.A.M. et al. (2005). Chalcides colosii. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10 April 2007. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
- Schleich, Hans-Hermann, et al.. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa: Biology, Systematics, Field Guide. Koeltz Scientific Books, 1996.
- Boulenger, G.A. "On the varieties of Chalcides ocellatus, Forsk." Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6, 1890) 5: 444-445
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