Latast's Snake Skink

Latast's Snake Skink / Ophiomorus latastii / عضية مخططة عديمة الأرجل

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Status: Unknown

Latast's Snake Skink belongs to the Scincidae family in the Sauria (lizards) sub-order of the order Squamata (scaled reptiles). It is the rarest representative of the Scincidae family present in Palestine, reaching a maximum total length (body + tail) of 18 cm. Latast's Snake Skink is one of three limbless lizards present in Palestine, and of these it is the smallest and rarest. The diet of Latast's Snake Skink consists of small invertebrates, mainly insects. It is usually found hiding under rocks, and there are no data regarding its activity pattern – it is not known if it is active during day (diurnal) or night (nocturnal). There are also no data regarding its reproduction, there is speculation in the literature that it is viviparous (live bearing). Unfortunately, despite its being harmless to humans, Latast's Snake Skink is often persecuted and killed by people because of its resemblance to snakes. Latast's Snake Skink inhabits parts of the Middle East.

Conservation status – critically endangered (CR).

In Palestine – Sporadic, rare, in some Mediterranean and semi-arid ("semi-desert") habitats.

Sites: Umm at-Tut, Beitillu, Wadi Al-Quff nature reserves.