Brachymeles tridactylus — Overview

Three-fingered Short-legged Skink learn more about names for this taxon

IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Biology

Brachymeles tridactylus is one of only two currently recognized species in the genus Brachymeles to possess three fingers and three toes. The other known three-digit species is B. muntingkamay, a morphologically similar species. It is a small and slender species with a moderately wide distribution in the central Philippine islands, at least when compared to the smaller known ranges of many of the non-pentadactyl species in the genus. The genus Brachymeles represents a unique group of semi-burrowing (semi-fossorial) lizards in that the group possesses species with a full spectrum of body forms, from limbed species with five fingers and five toes, to fully limbless species. Researchers are interested in the process and patterns behind the evolution of these drastic changes in body form. With the exception of two species from Borneo (B. apus) and Thailand (B. miriamae), all species of Brachymeles are endemic to the Philippines. This means they are found among the more than 7,000 Philippine islands and nowhere else in the world.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Siler, Cameron

Source: Amphibians and Reptiles of the Philippines

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