Malayan Night Heron takes a Garden Supple Skink

KC Tsang was at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on the morning of 14th January 2010 watching and taking pictures of the Malaysian Night Heron (Gorsachius melanolophus). Most of the time the heron was foraging for earthworms, or so he thought. Until he examined his images and found this picture showing that it also takes more than worms. Yes, this heron takes lizards also.

Dr Leong Tzi Ming examined the image and identified the lizard as the Garden Supple Skink (Lygosoma bowringii, family Scincidae). This is also the same species that was recently recorded being fed upon by the Long-tailed Shrikes. The lizard may be identified by the distinct dark, dorsolateral stripes along their body, and most of them have sulphur yellow bellies. This skink resides in rural to suburban areas, as well as forest fringes. It would probably be most visible, as well as vulnerable, in the late mornings when it basks in the sun to hasten its metabolic rate. For some unfortunate individuals, this sun-bathing ritual also hastens their demise!

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