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Five-lined Skink

Plestiodon fasciatus
  • Length is 5-8" (12.5 - 21.5cm)
  • Juvenile Five-lined Skink (right): black with five yellow/cream stripes; fading with age; brilliant blue tail; becomes grey with age
  • Brilliant juvenile colours fade with maturity to brown/grey/olive base and the five white/yellow stripes darken so there is less contrast (below-left).
  • Skinks may lose their tail to predators, but a new short grey tail will grow again.
  • Male's develop a reddish/orange colouring on their nose and jaw (below).
  • Five-lined Skinks inhabit open deciduous forest or field habitats where sufficient debris is available, and rock outcrops often along on lakeshores.
  • They eat invertebrates; large adults can even eat newborn mice and small frogs.
  • SPECIAL CONCERN - Southern Shield Population
  • ENDANGERED - Carolinian Population
  • Females construct a nest under flat logs/rocks. Nests may be shared by more than one female.
  • 6-10 eggs laid in June or early July.
  • Eggs hatch in 24-55 days.
  • Hatchlings are brightly coloured; 3.5-6.4 cm long.

What's the difference. Lizard or Salamander?

  • Salamanders are amphibians, lizards are reptiles. They both have long tails and four legs.
  • Salamanders would quickly dry out if they lived in the hot, dry habitat that the five-lined skinks like.
  • Lizards are covered in scales; very active; and can quickly move around the ground during the day.
  • Salamanders have soft, moist skin, are slow moving, and remain under shelter during the day.