Tag Archives: Ilhéu Branco

Chioninia coctei (Duméril & Bibron)

Cape Verde Giant Skink (Chioninia coctei)

The Cape Verde Giant Skink was once thought to have inhabited all of the islands of the Cape Verde archipelago; however, some of the island populations are now known to have constituted additional species – all of them now extinct.

Thus, the Giant Skink is exclusively known from the two tiny islets of Branco and Raso.

The species could reach lengths of up to 47 cm (including the tail), the males were usually larger than the females; it was a vegetarian and is known to have preferred the leaves and flowers of native mallows (Malva spp.).

The Cape Verde Giant Skink disappeared sometimes between 1914 and 1940.

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Depiction from: ‘Alphonse Trémeau de Rochebrune: Faune de la Sénégambie. Paris, O. Doin 1883-1887’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 05.01.2024