Friday, August 13, 2010

Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus)

At least I think it is. These lizards abound at Fort Yargo State Park where I see them frequently along the shore line south of the Fishing Area (segment 13). Usually they are warming themselves in a sunny spot in the early morning. We play a game of peek-a-boo. I try and sneak close to get a photo and they scamper around the opposite of a tree trunk or under the decking of a bridge.

There are two species in this area that have distinct lines: the Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus) and the Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus). The adult Five-lined Skink tends to have a larger head, lose the distinct light lines on its back and the bright blue tail color. The adult Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus) has a smaller head and tends to retain the distinct lines on its body and its blue tail. I think this is a Southeastern Five-lined Skink.

Do you agree?

This lizard let me get fairly close before the game began.

An enlargement of the previous photo.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
University of Georgia at Athens: Lizards of Georgia and South Carolina
- Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus)

Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus)


rebecca said...

Whichever species it is, it's lovely - I love lizards and they're one thing I'm looking forward to about moving to the South. (Supposedly there are a couple lizard species in southern Ohio, but they're not at all common and I've certainly never seen any.)

JSK said...

Thanks Rebecca. The UGA links - which are excellent - give the distribution for both species. The Five-line Skink should occur in Ohio but the Southeastern Five-lined Skink gets up into Virginia and to the very south of Kentucky - so you wouldn't see this one in Ohio.
This year has been strange in many ways. A very long, cold winter (for us) and then 3 months of 90+ temps. I've seen more lizards - both Eastern Fence and SE Five-lined Skinks than normal. I'm certainly not complaining about the lizards even if I complain about the lack of wildflowers and the heat. :-)

Amber Coakley said...

How lucky you are to get such a great look at this beautiful skink! I usually only get quick looks as they are running away from me, out of sight. Nice!

JSK said...

Hi Amber. It's been a strange year. I've seen more skinks and Eastern Fence lizards than ever before - and fewer anoles. It might also be that I've found a section of the lake shore that they really like.
Whichever, I'm not complaining. I'm enjoying them.