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FitzSimon's burrowing skink

Skinks | Namibia

Introduction: FitzSimon's burrowing skink (Typhlacontias brevipes) is a small, slender burrowing skink. They eyes do not have eyelids, neither are there any external ear openings. They forage at night and during the later afternoon/early evening time when the sand is of a more suitable temperature.

They inhabit the roots of grass tufts, found in semi-stable sand, usually on the leeward side of a dune, leaving characteristic wavy tracks. FitzSimon's burrowing skinks can be caught quite easily by waiting for them to become active before grabbing them in the sand.

Distribution: The sparsely vegetated coastal Namib Desert, notably in 2 populations in the south from Luderitz to the Omaruru River and then from the southern tip of the northern sand-sea north to the mouth of the Kunene River.

Diet: Small insects such as ants, termites, ant-lions and beetles.

Colouring: The body takes on various shades of light buff to sulphur yellow. Scales can form vague stripes along the back and upper flanks. The tail is blue-grey.

Breeding: Up to 3 babies are born during the late summer months of February to March.

Size: Max SVL 113mm.

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