Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2017











2017, March 27.  Endemic Lizards of the Philippines

Litho Offset, Amstar Printing Company, Inc.,  Perf 14

Se-tenant Blocks of 4,  Miniature Sheets of 16;  Souvenir Sheets of 4 + 2 Labels




Se-tenant Blocks of Four  (25,600)


12p  Luzon Bicolored Earth Skink

12p  Philippine False Gecko

12p  Gigante Limestone Gecko

12p  Striped Tree Skink


Miniature Sheets of 16  (Four Se-tenants B/4) (6,400)


48p Souvenir Sheets of Four + Se-tenant Pair Labels  (5,000)

12p  Emerald False Gecko

12p  Marbled Agamid Lizard

12p  Spotted Forest Dragon

12p  Mindanao Water Skink

Labels - Gray's Monitor Lizard


Designer:  Victorino Z. Serevo


Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, Ph.D., Scientist III, In-charge, Herpetology Sec., Zoology Div., National Museum of the Philippines, Manila.

Mae Lowe L. Diesmos, M.Sc., Asst. Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Santo Tomas, Manila.



First Day Covers:  Manila







Luzon Bicolorewd Earth Skink (Brachymeles bicolor) (Gray, 1845).  Skinks of the genus Brachymeles are remarkable group of lizards in the Philippines. These lizards have elongated body and miniscu!e limbs that make them look more like snakes than lizards. Brachymeles bicolor is the largest among this group of Philippine lizards, with adult lizards reaching upto 300 mm in length. It inhabits lowland dipterocarp forest and montane forests. A highly secretive species, it remains hidden most of the time under decayed logs and leaf litter on the forest floor. It feeds on termites, other insects, and earthworms. Brachymeles bicolor is endemic to the Philippines and is known only from the northern regions of Luzon.

Philippine False Gecko (Pseudogekko brevides) (Boetiger, 1897). This is a rare forest-dwelling lizard. It has been found in lowland forest and in montane forest, at an elevation of about 1,000 meters. This gecko has been observed on leaves of trees in the understorey layer and in the canopy.  Little information is known about its ecology because of few observations of this species in the field.  Pseudogekko is known only from the southern Philippines on the islands of Samar, Leyte, and Bohol and it may also occur on Biliran and Camiguin.

Gigante Limestone Gecko (Gekko gigante) (Brown and Alcaia, 1978).  Gekko gigante is one of four species of lizards known in the Philippines that live exclusively in forest over limestone karst habitat. This species is found in caves and on limestone karst  outcrops and boulders and may be generally common especially in undisturbed limestone karst. Very little information is known about the life history and ecology of this gecko. This species is endemic to the Gigantes, a small group of islands located northeast of Panay in Central Philippines.

Striped Tree Skink (Lipinia pulchella) (Gray, 1845.  This arboreal species lives in the understorey layer and on the canopy and is usually seen perched on trunks of forest trees in lowland and montane forests. Adult lizards are brightly striped in yellow.  Lipinia pulchella is an endemic species and can be found on many major islands of the Philippines.

Emerald False Gecko (Pseudogekko smaragdinus) (Taylor, 1922).  The Emerald False Gecko is one of the most colorful species of forest geckos in the Philippines. It inhabits arboreal microhabitats in old growth and secondary lowland dipterocarp forests at elevations from near sea level to 300 meters. Like most forest-dwelling lizards from the Philippines, very little information is known about the ecology of Pseudogekko smaragdinus because of few field observations of this species. Pseudogekko smaragdinus is endemic to the Philippines and is known from Luzon and Polillo.

Marbled Agamid Lizard (Bronchocela marmorata) (Gray, 1845).  Bronchocela marmorata is a forest-obligate agamid lizard and lives in lowland dipterocarp and montane forests. This is primarily an arboreal lizard and is typically found perched on top of branches and on the foliage of forest trees. It feeds on insects and is oviparous, digging the soil to lay its eggs, usually at the base of trees. This endemic species is found on most major islands of the Philippines.

Spotted Forest Dragon (Gonocephalus sophiae) (Gray, 1845). Gonocephalus sophiae is one of at least three species of forest dragons known from the Philippines. This species inhabits lowland forests (both primary and secondary) but is occasionally found in second growth vegetation. It is an arboreal species and spends most of its time on trees. It is carnivorous and feeds mostly on insects. It is oviparous; females are often observed digging nests at the base of trees. Eggs are buried under the soil. Gonocephalus sophiae is endemic to the Philippines and is known thus far from the islands of Luzon, Panay, Negros, and Mindanao.

Mindanao Water Skink (Tropidophorus misaminius) (Stejneger,1908).  Tropidophorus misaminius is among the most striking forest skink in the Philippines. Its body is covered with spiny and pointed scales that likely serve as a deterrent against predators. This species lives exclusively in the lowland forest and inhabits the banks of streams and rivers, hiding under rocks or large boulders. They are usually found on top of rocks while basking under the sun. In the forest, they live under decayed logs, which serve as refuge and breeding microhabitat. Tropidophorus misaminius is endemic to the Philippines and is found on the islands of Mindanao and Siargao (Surigao del Norte).

Gray's Monitor Lizard (Varanus olivaceus) (Hallowell,1859).  Gray's Monitor Lizard is a large arboreal species that inhabits old growth and secondary lowland dipterocarp forest. It especially thrives well in forest over limestone karst habitat. It is primarily frugivorous, feeding on fruits of forest trees and palms such as Pandanus, Gnetum, Canarium, Ficus, Pinanga, Caryota, Livistona. During periods when these plant foods are not available, invertebrates, particularly snails, are also eaten. Locally called Butaan, Varanus olivaceus is endemic to the Philippines and is found in the southern regions of Luzon and the islands of Polillo and Catanduanes. Serious threats to this species are the rampant collection of lizards for illegal animal trade and the degradation and loss of its forest habitat.





  • Animals - Reptiles


Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

Back to the Top


Issues of 2017