Thursday, July 21, 2011

Creature Feature: Five-lined Skink

Adult Male Five-lined Skink

Juvenile Five-lined Skink
The Five-lined Skink is one of the most versatile lizard species in the United States with a range from Southern Texas North into Canada. These lizards are well adapted to their environment throughout their range.  The Five-lined Skink has many forms so don't be fooled into thinking you are seeing a different species!  The beautiful juvenile with its yellow stripes and bright blue tail grows up into a lizard with a more uniform brown color. During the spring breeding season the brown colored males show off a bright red head as well!

In some cases you may actually be seeing a Broad-headed Skink which can look very similar to the five lined with some subtle differences in scale arrangement, coloration, and overall maximum size. This little lizard can be commonly found in sunny areas basking on logs and likes to eat many types of insects, worms, spiders, and sometimes even baby mice!

Female Five-lined Skink guarding her eggs
Lesser Known Fact: Unlike most lizards the female will actually tend the eggs until they hatch!


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