Characteristics: The five-lined skink is the most common lizard in North America. Adult lizards are typically brownish in color, and males can be identified from their orange or reddish heads. Young five-lined skinks are dark with five whitish or yellowish stripes and a bright blue tail. Their stripes fade as they mature. They grow to eight inches long. These reptiles are diurnal, so they are active during the day. Like many other lizards, five-lined skinks will break off their tails when restrained, distracting the predator and allowing the lizard to escape.
Habitat: Five-lined skinks are a woodland reptile and can be founded in forest areas. Although sometimes seen in the open, these lizards are most often found beneath logs or under tree bark.
Did You Know?
During the Cretaceous Period, 120 million years ago, the Fort Foote property was swamp land, much different from today. Warm adapted plants such as Brachyphyllum crassicarde lived in this habitat (fossil photo to the right). As the climate began to change, this plant as well as many others died out.