Eastern skink

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Eastern skink
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Scincus
Species: S. mitranus
Binomial name
Scincus mitranus
Anderson, 1871[2]

The eastern skink (Scincus mitranus), also commonly known as the Arabian sand skink and the sand fish, is a species of lizard in the skink family (Scincidae).[1][2]


The specific name, mitranus, is in honour of Indian archeologist and anthropologist Babu Rajendralala Mitra (1824–1891).[3]


S. mitranus may grow to a length of 20 cm (7.9 in) and have an orange-brown or sand-coloured back, and a white underside. On the side it has a line or spots in a light colour, and the back and legs have vague dark bands. The snout is shaped like a bill, and the legs and tail are short.[citation needed]


The eastern skink can run quickly, or slide over the sand and dig itself in quickly when it is in danger.[citation needed]


S. mitranus preys on several kinds of arthropods, especially centipedes and beetles.[citation needed]

Geographic range and habitat[edit]

S. mitranus is found in the Arabian Peninsula (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), western Iran, and Pakistan.[1][2] Its presence in Pakistan is disputed.[2]


S. mitranus is associated with loose sand dune (aeolian) habitats.[1]


The eastern skink is viviparous,[1][2] which gives it an advantage compared to other species in the area, as its eggs cannot desiccate.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e Els, J.; Eid, E.K.A.; Al Johany, A.M.H.; Amr, Z.S.S.; Egan, D.M.; Sharifi, M.; Papenfuss, T.; Shafiei Bafti, S. (2012). "Scincus mitranus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T164651A1064287. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Scincus mitranus at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 4 August 2016.
  3. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Scincus mitranus, p. 180).

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson J. 1871. "Description of a New Species of Scincus ". Proc. Asiatic Soc. Bengal 1871: 115-116. (Scincus mitranus, new species).
  • Boulenger GA. 1887. Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume III. ... Scincidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 575 pp. + Plates I-XL. (Scincus mitranus, p. 393).