Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Eumeces fasciatus
Fivelined Skink

Franklin Co., Missouri
Spring 1974

There's a flash of blue as you turn over a stone or board, and then it's gone.  There's only one creature sporting those colors around these parts - a juvenile Five-Lined Skink.  The color on the tail's end is vivid, intense, and no doubt very distracting to a would-be predator, who sometimes ends up with a mouthful of wiggling blue tail, while the now-shorter skink makes a getaway!

The blue color fades with age; females retain their stripes, and the males turn brown and feature a reddish head that grows even more intense during breeding season.  Males in this state often resemble their cousin, the Broadhead Skink, but on a less robust scale.

These are creatures of wooded areas, where rocks and logs provide cover, a place to lay eggs, and somewhere to hibernate.  They can also be found in junk piles and around abandoned barns and other buildings.







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