New iridescent lizard species found in Cambodia

February 22, 2012
A handout photo released by Conservation International shows a new lizard species at Ratanak Kiri province, some 600 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh.

A new species of lizard with striking iridescent rainbow skin, a long tail and very short legs has been discovered in the rainforest in northeast Cambodia, conservationists announced Wednesday.

Scientists named the skink Lygosoma veunsaiensis to honour the Veun Sai-Siem Pang in Rattanakiri province where it was found, Conservation International (CI) said in a statement.

The lizard was discovered in 2010 in the remote and little-explored area during biological surveys led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in partnership with CI, the group said.

"These creatures are difficult to find because they spend so much of their life underground', said Neang Thy, a Cambodian national working for FFI and the first herpetologist to see the new skink.

"Some similar species are known from only a few individuals. We were very lucky to find this one," said Neang Thy.

The new species is unusual because it has very short limbs and a tail that is much longer than its main body. Its skin has a refracting quality to the scales that creates a rainbow-like effect in sunlight, the group said.

The lizard was the third new species in the last two years to be found in Veun Sai, following the discovery of a new type of bat and a gibbon.

Explore further: Cambodian scientist discovers new species of blind and legless lizard

Related Stories

Weird Australian hammer-tooth marsupial fossil found

April 20, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fossils of bizarre lizard-like, snail-eating marsupials have been discovered by UNSW palaeontologists in an ancient fossil field in the Riversleigh World Heritage area in Queensland. The fossils date back ...

Community of rare gibbons found in Vietnam

July 18, 2011

The lively morning calls of a rare species of gibbon has led to the discovery of the only known "viable" community of the talkative primates in remote Vietnamese forests, conservationists said Monday.

New snub-nosed monkey discovered in Northern Myanmar

October 26, 2010

An international team of primatologists have discovered a new species of monkey in Northern Myanmar (formerly Burma.) The research, published in the American Journal of Primatology, reveals how Rhinopithecus strykeri, a species ...

Three new bat species discovered in Indochina

September 5, 2011

Three new bat species have been discovered after an international team of scientists from the Hungarian Natural History Museum (HNHM) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) embarked on a study in southern Indochina.

Recommended for you

Histone 1, the guardian of genome stability

August 18, 2017

Scientists headed by Ferran Azorín at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have discovered why histone 1 is a major protection factor against genomic instability and a vital protein. Their study of the ...

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises

August 17, 2017

Microbes dominate the planet, especially the ocean, and help support the entire marine food web. In a recent report published in Nature Microbiology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) oceanography professor Ed DeLong ...

Researchers describe gene that makes large, plump tomatoes

August 17, 2017

Farmers can grow big, juicy tomatoes thanks to a mutation in the Cell Size Regulator gene that occurred during the tomato domestication process. Esther van der Knaap of the University of Georgia, Athens and colleagues describe ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.