Subject: 5-lined Skink
Location: Tampa, Florida
May 21, 2016 9:01 pm
I saw this interesting little guy in my backyard In August a few years back. I used google and came up with an identity of: Eumeces inexpectatus, the Southeastern five-lined skink.
I hope that’s right. It didn’t mind me holding it at all, but was probably happy to go its own way after I bugged it for pictures.
With its blue tail, this Southeastern Five Lined Skink is sure a pretty lizard. We don’t have many reptiles represented on our site, so your submission is a very welcomed addition. According to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory: “Young have a bright blue tail while adult males’ stripes may fade and a reddish or orange coloration may develop on the head.” It seems your individual may be a male nearing maturity. The site also states: “Southeastern five-lined skinks may be found on the ground or in trees, but are generally less arboreal (tree dwelling) than broadhead skinks. Although sometimes seen in the open, these lizards are most often found beneath logs or under tree bark. When pursued, these lizards generally run for the nearest tree or log and can be quite difficult to capture. Like many other lizards, southeastern five-lined skinks will break off their tails when restrained, distracting the predator and allowing the lizard to escape.”