The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Variable Skink

Afrikaans name: Veranderlike Gladde Akkedis

Variable Skink

Variable Skink

Photo © Steven Herbert

Trachylepis varia

The Variable Skink used to be called the Common Variable Skink. It can be found in many parts of Africa from Uganda and Somalia south to South Africa.

As their name implies they are very variable in colour. Their backs can be reddish-brown, brown, black or olive. It may or may not have black spots on their backs. Their underparts are bluish-white. The Variable Skink can reach a length of 19 cm but are usually smaller.

The Variable Skink has an active lifestyle and it can be found in many different habitats from the coast to mountain slopes. It prefers rocky areas that provide cover.

They mainly eat insects but will also eat spiders, termites and other creepy crawlies.

References and further reading

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Published: 1983 - Page: 68

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 104

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Published: 2006 - Page: 75

Bill Branchs Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Published: 1988 - Page: 133

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Published: 2007 - Page: 253


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