A handout photo taken on Feb 24, 2010 and released by Conservation International on February 22, 2012 shows a new lizard species at Ratanak Kiri province, some 600 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh. -- PHOTO: AFP/ Gabor Csorba/Conservation International
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - 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 on Wednesday.
Scientists named the skink Lygosoma veunsaiensis to honour the Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area 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 rainforest 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.