Five-lined Skink

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Five-lined Skink
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Eumeces_fasciatus.jpg
Five-lined Skink


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Suborder:Sauria
Family:Scincidae
Genus:Eumeces
Species:E. fasciatus
Binomial name
Eumeces fasciatus
Linnaeus, 1758

The Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) is one of the most common lizards in the eastern U.S. and one of the five species of lizards in Canada. Other common names include blue-tailed skink and red-headed skink.

Contents

Description

It is a small to medium sized skink growing to about 12.5 to 21.5 cm total length (5 to 8.5 inches). Young five-lined skinks are dark brown to black with five distinctive white to yellowish stripes running along the body and a bright blue tail. The blue color fades to grey with age, and the stripes also may slowly disappear. The dark brown color fades, too, and older individuals are often uniformly brownish.

Range and Habitat

The range of the Five-lined Skink extends in the north to southern Ontario, the lower peninsula of Michigan and eastern New York. The western border is in Wisconsin, Missouri and eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Five-lined Skinks are ground-dwelling animals. They prefer moist, partially wooded habitat that provides ample cover as well as sites to bask in the sun.

Reproduction

The breeding season of the Five-lined Skink is in spring. During this time, males develop an orange coloring of the snout. The female lays between 4 an 18 eggs in late spring. She guards the clutch, which is deposited preferably in or under large rotting logs. After 24 to 55 days, depending on the ambient temperature, the hatchlings appear. Sexual maturity is reached after two to three years. Five-lined skinks can get five or six years old.

External links

  • Animal Diversity Web (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Eumeces_fasciatus.html): In-depth description of the Five-lined Skink.

Selected literature

  • Harding, J. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
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