Friday, March 4, 2011

Creature Feature - Blue Tailed Skink

The blue tailed Skink is more properly known as the Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus).  They are usually black or dark brown, with five distinct stripes running the length of the body.  It is one of the most common lizards in Florida, growing up to eight inches in length.
Juveniles have the distinct bright blue tail.  The stripes and the tail both fade as the Skink ages.  In males, the tail turns brown, and in females it becomes a dull blue-gray.
Eggs are laid in the spring in clutches of 15 to 18, usually in a crevice or hollowed cavern under logs or rocks. The incubation period ranges from 3 to 8 weeks, depending on soil temperature.

These just-hatched skinks will take 2-3 years to reach sexual maturity, with an ultimate lifespan of up to 6 years.

The Five-lined Skink prefers a moist, vegetated habitat.  They are carnivorous and will eat just about anything that will fit in their mouths.




18 comments:

Kimberly said...

Jim, I don't have a creature to feature today, but I really love yours! The blue tail skink is awesome with it's deep blue tail..so tropical!

Darla said...

I'm in Tallahassee and we have these every 'stinkin' where....try to leave them alone but when there are 6 or so on the front porch at a time I get crazy.

lotusleaf said...

I enjoyed reading about the blue tailed skink. There are many creatures in my garden too, as it is organic. I hope to join next month!

Giga said...

Przykro mi, ale nie przepadam za takimi ogrodowymi gośćmi . Pozdrawiam

Molly said...

We don't have Skinks in Mn, but they look interesting, nice Photos. Interesting read

Anonymous said...

i js caught one in my backyard here in MARYLAND

Anonymous said...

I had one today in my house. I live in Virginia. Do they bite? He seemed very skittish and not aggressive. I was able to shoo him out the door with a kitchen towel.

Anonymous said...

Just saw one of these in our gardens today! Awesome!

Peter said...

I ran over one yesterday in my driveway. I'm in Springfield , Oregon. Are they common here? Or did I kill someone's pet?

Grower Jim said...

Peter: You have a different species out there in Oregon, but it does look very much like this one. I think it's safe to say you did NOT kill someones pet!

David Pasqualone said...

Saw online that the blue tailed skink was from south/central Florida.

Just caught one in our yard in Pensacola, FL.

Is that normal?

David Pasqualone said...

Is it normal to find blue tailed skinks in Pensacola, FL?

Grower Jim said...

David, this species has a range that covers most of the eastern U.S. so they should be quite common in Pensacola within their preferred habitat of moist, partially wooded areas.

Anonymous said...

Are they venomous

Grower Jim said...

They are completely harmless! ...Unless you're on the list of things they like to eat!

Anonymous said...

I just found 2 skinks with bright blue tails and striped darkish body is this normal?

Grower Jim said...

Sounds normal!

Anonymous said...

Just saw one in Davie,Fl. I though it was awsome so I googled it.but I sure hope I don't find one in my house I will admire them from a distance

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