Five-lined Skink

Eumeces fasciatus

The Five-lined Skink is our most common lizard. They grow up to eight inches long, with males growing slightly larger than females.

They are usually black or dark brown, with five light stripes down their backs. Stripes fade as the skink gets older, so adults may look all brown.

Male adult Five-lined Skinks often have bright orange jaws during the breeding season.

Young skinks have very clear stripes and a bright blue tail. Females may keep a very full bluish-gray tail as they age, but males' tails will turn brown.

Copyright, Terry Hibbitts

Mark Moran

Copyright, Terry Hibbitts

Five-lined Skinks mate in the Spring and females will dig a nest under a log, stump, or rock. She will lay up to a dozen eggs, which will hatch between June and August, depending on when they were laid. Females will stay with their eggs until they hatch. She will also eat any unhatched eggs.

Young Five-lined Skinks are about two inches long when born.

These lizards are found in moist woods where there are a lot of logs, stumps, and rockpiles to go along with leaf litter.

Five-lined Skinks are diurnal, so they are active during the day. They like to crawl out on rocks or logs to bask (soak up heat from the sun) during the day.

They are also always looking for a meal. Five-lined Skinks eat mostly insects, including: crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. They also eat spiders, earthworms, snails, slugs, isopods, other lizards, and small mice.

Five-lined Skinks will often climb dead trees where there are a lot of insects.

Predators of these lizards include Raccoons, Red Foxes, Virginia Opossums, snakes, and hawks.

J. Harding

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Patent-leather Beetle

Raccoon

Poison Ivy

Chigger Pa

Field Cricket

Red Fox

Virginia Creeper

Differential Grasshopper

Virginia Opossum

Bracken Fern

Rabid Wolf Spider

Striped Skunk

Red Clover

Leopard Slug

Barred Owl

Cinnamon Fern

Earthworm

Great Horned Owl

Dodder

Isopod

Red-tailed Hawk

Common Ragweed

Eastern Bloodsucking Conenose

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Skunk Cabbage

Pennsylvania Firefly

Black Rat Snake

Running Cedar

Meadow Vole

Copperhead

Kentucky Bluegrass

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Great Blue Heron

Common Greenshield

Eastern Black Swallowtail

Common Crow

British Soldiers

Horned Fungus Beetle

Northern Ringneck Snake

Virginia Rose

Goldenrod Spider

Great Crested Flycatcher

Harvestman

Eastern Hognose Snake

Garden Centipede

Northern Mockingbird

North American Millipede

Norway Rat

Chinese Mantid

Painted Lady

Spined Micrathena

Relationship to Humans:

Five-lined Skinks help control insect pest populations. They are often seen climbing walls and shutters of houses looking for insects.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Reptile
ORDER
Squamata
FAMILY
Scinidae
GENUS
Eumeces
SPECIES
Eumeces fasciatus

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