Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

green tree skink

Lamprolepis smaragdina


A shy green tree skink. A (primarily) arboreal lizard known from "forests in the Taiwan, Palawan and Sulu archipelagoes as well as the Indo-Australian archipelago [-- includes New Guinea] and the Solomon and Santa Cruz islands. Eating mostly insects and other small creatures, although occasionally living on fruit and plants, they prefer bare tree trunks without climbing plants. Several have even been sighted on minute islands with very little greenery, the record being four palm trees."


Spotted on a fence separating a large semi-urban yard from other houses. There is a disturbed patch of remnant lowland forest nearby.


The description in quotes above comes from Wikipedia. Now for some personal observations. This species is common here in northern Papua [or biogeographically speaking, northern New Guinea]. There are 100% green specimens and there are some with tails and hindquarters colored brown while anteriorly colored green (like this specimen). These lizards are arboreal, but they can occasionally be seen on the ground. In this spotting the skink is navigating along a fence. This is proving to be a common behavior here. I have also observed them falling or jumping or being pushed by other skinks, to lower tree branches; sometimes falling all the way to the ground. While they may show site (tree) fidelity, they may also look for new trees to stake out a home.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

If only I had a rapid-focus/rapid-fire camera! He wouldn't sit still ;-)

alicelongmartin 9 years ago

I love him between all the beautiful leaves.

Scott Frazier
Spotted by
Scott Frazier


Spotted on Oct 7, 2012
Submitted on Oct 7, 2012

Related Spottings

Green Tree Skink Emerald Tree Skink Emerald tree skink Philippine Spotted-Green Tree Skink

Nearby Spottings

broad-headed bug variegated croton weaver ant on bagworm case keladi, elephant ear
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team