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How to tell the difference between classic Indonesian and Halmahera?

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:39 pm
by Ezealan
I have looked everywhere for information and I can't seem to tell the difference. I scrolled through pages and pages of "What kind of skink do I have" testing myself, and I seem to only get it right half of the time. The species identification page doesn't have any information about the locale, just Indonesians as a whole.

Basically from what I've gathered, if it isn't yellow/yellow-green it's a halmahera? They all seem to have an orange or axanthic colouring, but then I come across darker skinks and I have no idea...

Here's an image of google images and I've tried to identify some. Am I right with these?

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Also, This skink of Morakie's, what gives this away as a halm?
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Re: How to tell the difference between classic Indonesian and Halmahera?

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 5:42 pm
by mb606587
Good question! So a dead give away for many Halmaheras is a distinct orange color between the black bands. But unfortunately that copper orange color can fade to a gray or silver color, especially if the animal is near shed. Another thing to look out for is the marking on the nape of the neck. Like Meraukes, Halmaheras will always have a thin vertical stripe (identical marking pictured below on a Merauke), whereas many of the other Indonesian skinks will not. Halmaheras sometimes have a cleaner body that is free of the speckling and mottling between bands that many of the Indonesian skinks have. And as you can see with the tail, the black banding on a Halmahera will go from uniform to increasingly thicker and irregular further down the tip of the tail. Some Indonesian skinks will have a heavily mottled black tail, free of banding, which will be a dead give away. Sometimes, you have to look at a combination of features in order to make a better determination, as the differences in physical features can be subtle. Be careful doing a Google image search as you did. Not all skinks are ID'ed correctly on the web. Hope this helps a bit.
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Re: How to tell the difference between classic Indonesian and Halmahera?

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 7:03 pm
by mb606587
You are correct on most. The Irian Jaya is actually Merauke. The bottom middle photo is Indonesian, not Halmahera. Many of the ones you were unable to ID ate difficult due to bad angles.