Variable Skink [Mabuya varia]
The Variable Skink is one of the most common lizards you can encounter in the Kruger. They are primarily a dark brown (almost black) in colour on their tops while their undersides are a pale grey colour. Their faces have an almost yellowish tinge while they also have a brown stripe that stretches along its side from its eyes to its tail. They are rather short in size, ranging from 50 – 60 mm in length.
The Variable Skink has a varied diet, consisting of caterpillars, termites, spiders, grasshoppers, and in rare cases other lizards.
These lizards are widely distributed from the South Eastern Cape, all the way to Sudan, Somalia, West Namibia, Congo and Angola. They often prefer rocky areas with plenty of cover and shade from the heat.
These lizards lay from 6 – 12 eggs that hatch after 60 days. The Variable Skink grows rather fast, reaching maturity after only 8 months.