This is the one and only Skink I have come across in the wild and, fortunately, I had a camera with me. It didn’t stick around so only managed a couple of quick snapshots, mainly in the hope of identifying it. I was led to believe it was the Orange-flanked Skink. However, as this particular species is endemic to Queensland, Australia, I now find this unlikely. My current opinion would be that it could well be Armitage’s Cylindrical Skink, as it is the only one I can (so far) find is commonly found in West Africa. Still not totally convinced, though.


A member of the lizard family, it generally has shorter limbs than other lizards. There are around 1,500 species of Skink, with some having no limbs at all and their movement is snake-like.

I love the colours, particularly in the sunlight. Skinks are mainly carnivorous, eating insects of all sizes. Some are quite happy to shed their tails, which are long and tapered, if caught by predators as the tail generally grows back. Others without this ability just end up with a stump. They have many enemies, from hawks and herons to cats and even other lizards.

skink, The Gambia