|Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus)||Dumeril's Monitor (Varanus dumerili)||Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)|
Geckos (Family Gekkonidae)
Geckos are well known for their ability to hang upside down on ceilings. The "House Lizards" that one typically encounters at home are really geckos. There are 18 species of geckos that can be found in Singapore. At least 4 of them can be found in houses. The rest are forest geckos.
Sometimes foreign geckos followed shipments into Singapore. Here are two that might have done so.
Used to be grouped with Kendall's Rock Gecko, the Peninsular Rock Gecko (Cnemaspis peninsularis) is now treated as a separate species1.
The Flat-tailed Gecko (Cosymbotes platyurus) is another urban gecko. It can be told apart by the flat edges of the tail.
The Singapore Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus majulah) has previously been mistaken as Marbled Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus quadrivirgatus)2. It has black spots on its back. In some, the black spots merged to form alternative black and pale bands on the back.
The Four-clawed Gecko (Gehyra mutilata) is another urban gecko. It does not have the spiny tail of the above species and only four of the five toes on each hind foot have claws.
The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is a distinctive lizard - it has blue spots all over the orange body.
The Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) has distinctive spot patterns on the back.
The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is also called the Spiny-tailed House Gecko. It can be told apart by the spiny edges of the tail.
The Dwarf Gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus typus) is one of the smallest geckos here.
Agamids (Family Agamidae)
Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) used to be a common lizard in Singapore. However, since the introduction of the alien Changeable Lizard, this species has been pushed into more wooded areas. It looks similar to the Changeable Lizard but is bright green in colour.
Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) is the most common lizard one would encounter in parks and gardens. It is however not native. It has taken over the niche of the native Green Crested Lizard, forcing the latter into more wooded areas. They are greenish to brownish, but the head and upper body of the males would turn orange and the throat black during the breeding season.
Flying Lizards are more correctly known as Gliding Lizards because they do not really fly but they glide. They do so by opening the flaps of skin between the legs and jumping off a high vantage point. They also have a flap of throat skin, which is used for communication and courtship. There are 3 confirmed species in Singapore and 2 other species that need further verification. The existence of Fimbriate Flying Lizard (Draco fimbriatus) and Spotted Flying Lizard (Draco maculatus) in Singapore needs further verification.
The Black-bearded Flying Lizard (Draco melanopogon) is greenish in colour and has a black throat skin.
The Five-banded Flying Lizard (Draco quinquefasciatus) has five bands across the body.
The Common Flying Lizard (Draco sumatranus) has a yellow throat skin and a few rufous patterns on the back. It is also know as the Sumatran Gliding Lizard. It used to be called Draco volans.
Skinks (Family Scincidae)
There are 7 species of skinks in Singapore. They can be separated into three main groups: tree skinks (3), the mangrove skink (1) and ground skinks (3). The most common is the Common Sun Skink.
Common Sun Skink (Eutropis multifasciata) is the most common skink in Singapore. It can be found in gardens and parks. It is also called the Many-lined Sun Skink.
Monitors (Family Varanidae)
Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) is one of the most familiar reptiles in Singapore. It is commonly found near rivers, mangroves and reservoirs. It can grow to 2 m long and is sometimes mistaken by visitors to Sungei Buloh as crocodiles. It is distinguished from the Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) by the position of the nostrils being near the tip of the snout, whereas the nostrils of the Clouded Monitor are midway between the snout and the eyes. It also lacks the yellow spots on the body of the Clouded Monitor. Habitat-wise, the Clouded Monitor prefers forests, whereas the Water Monitor prefers waterbodies. There is a third species of monitor in Singapore, the Dumeril's Monitor (Varanus dumerili), which is recently rediscovered in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest.