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
Mae Lowe L. Diesmos, M.Sc., Asst. Professor,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Santo Tomas, Manila.
First Day Covers: Manila
ENDEMIC LIZARDS OF THE PHILIPPINES
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
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
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
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.