Butterfly lizards (Leiolepidae) are fascinating ground dwelling reptiles that are active in the day and live in burrows, in loose or sandy soils. They can be seen during anytime of the day, out sunning themselves, quite oblivious to the two legged photographer. The eyed butterfly lizard is known to exist in Mynamar and Thailand but there is very little known about its natural history.
Indeed my favourite field guide to reptiles in Thailand and South-east Asia reads "Nothing known of its natural history..........". It was believed to be subspecies of Leiolepis belliana known accordingly asLeiolepis belliana ocellata since 1971. However, in 2007 it was proposed as a full species of its own, Leiolepis ocellata, by Pauwels & Chimsunchart after biological studies.
And this is one of the reasons I so enjoy photographing natural history in Thailand. The chances of a photographer capturing a potentially new species (to science) are normally small but when you photograph something that there is very little information known about it brings home the potential that Thailand has for new species in her forests and natural areas. And that maybe, just maybe, one day, I may get lucky.
A Leiolepis ocellata photographed in Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.