Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five-Lined Skink

This is one of the most common little lizards found in Missouri as well as most of the Eastern United States. It is sometimes called Blue-Tailed Skink, this comes from the fact that the young ones have a bright blue tail. As they age their tail loses this brilliant blue color and they become more uniformly brown. They have 5 lighter colored stripes down their back. Often times with age these also disappear. They reach a maximum length of about 7 to 8 inches. Like most lizards, if captured, they will lose their tail. This allows them to escape from predation. They will generate a new tail. You will typically find them in moist habitats near some timber. This allows them to find hiding places during the hottest times of the year. They will also be found in the early part of the day basking in the sun on top of rocks. Like all reptiles they are cold blooded and need to warm their bodies with sunlight and warm rocks. They are ground dwellers and feed on small insects and other arthropods. It is always a challenge to catch one of these little critters. Talk about fast!!! I've yet to succeed at capturing one, appears I am way too slow. It is fun to try if you don't mind looking a fool, all bent over, with your hand out stretched running full on at something no one can see but you.


  1. These are the cutest little things. I have 17 pet skinks. Itty bitty babies.

  2. I have caught one in my house with my sons. Are they poisonous?

    1. Not venomous at all, they are completely harmless. They may bite when handled but it won't really hurt. If you grab them they may lose their tail.