Chalcides ocellatus

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Chalcides ocellatus

Chalcides ocellatus, or ocellated skink (also known as eyed skink or gongilo is a species of skink found in Greece, southern Italy, Malta, and parts of northern Africa.UAE, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Genus: Chalcides
  • Species: C. ocellatus
  • Binomial name: Chalcides ocellatus

Chalcides ocellatus

As an adult, it generally reaches about 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) of length with a 22 to 39 g weight and has a small head, cylindrical body, and five toes on each foot. They are very agile and are often found in arid areas. It is strongly related to Chalcides colosii, and C. colosii was formerly considered a subspecies of C. ocellatus. C. ocellatus is notable for the presence of ocelli and for its wide variety of coloration patterns.

It preys on various insects, including those with hard exoskeletons, arachnids, and small lizards, including its own young. In captivity it also eats sweet fruits, boiled eggs and pieces of meat. Females of the species give birth to 2-6 live young through viviparity.

Adult Size: 20–28 cm

Lifespan: about twelve years

Distribution: around the eastern and southern parts of the Mediterranean Sea and to Pakistan

Habitat: quite variable from coastlines to forest edges and dunes, gardens etc.

Food : all kinds of small insects and their larvae, worms, snails, sweet fruit, fruit/baby pulp, minerals/vitamins


Medium to fairly large lizards, maximum recorded SVL in Egypt = 108 mm. Body elongate and cylindrical; limbs short; tail almost equal to body length. Lower eyelid with a transparent disc, ear without any lobules, tympanum exposed. Between 28-34. scales around mid-body. Dorsal coloration generally olive-gray or brown, with numerous small black and white ocelli, each occupying a single scale, scattered or arranged in loose diagonal transverse bands. Number and distribution of ocelli very variable; some animals are almost plain.


It is a highly adaptable species that is often associated with arid to moist sandy, open areas or places with sparse scrub. It is found in coastal dunes and stabilized vegetated dunes further inland and It is also found in orchards, vineyards, fields, oases, rural gardens and urban areas.

A terrestrial species found close to ground cover such as stones and vegetation. It is largely nocturnal in the summer and diurnal in the winter. The females give birth to between two and twenty fully formed live young.

Chalcides ocellatus images

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