Chalcides ocellatus, or ocellated skink (also known as eyed skink or gongilo) is a species of skink found in Greece, southern Italy, Malta, and parts of northern Africa. UAE, Israel, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.
As an adult, it generally reaches about 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) of length with a 22 to 39 g weight and has a small head, cylindrical body, and five toes on each foot. They are very agile and are often found in arid areas. It is strongly related to Chalcides colosii, and C. colosii was formerly considered a subspecies of C. ocellatus. C. ocellatus is notable for the presence of ocelli and for its wide variety of coloration patterns. It preys on various insects, including those with hard exoskeletons, arachnids, and small lizards, including its own young. In captivity it also eats sweet fruits, boiled eggs and pieces of meat. Females of the species give birth to 2-6 live young through viviparity.
Chalcides ocellatus is considered to be a generalist species and can be found in a wide variety of environments, such as farmland and gravel deserts around the Mediterranean coast. Its main escape tactic from predators is to run behind vegetation, most likely because it is not suited to run very fast. Its limbs are somewhat short, but not adapted for fossorial movement.
- Digimorph from the NSF Library at UT-Austin, Chalcides ocellatus
- Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe
- Arikan, et al.. "An Investigation on the Blood-Serum Proteins of Chalcides ocellatus (Sauria: Scincidae) Populations from Southern Anatolia." Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Tr. J. Zool. 22 (1998) 175-177.
- Baha el Din, Sherif (2006). A Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Egypt. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 978-9774249792.
- Fauna Import UK
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- Omar Attum, Perri Eason and Gary Cobbs. "Morphology, niche segregation, and escape tactics in a sand dune lizard community", Journal of Arid Environments 68:4, 564-573 March 2007
- Photos and Information
- Morphology of C. ocellatus from Digimorph, an NSF Digital Library at UT-Austin
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