Eastern five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
The eastern five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus) is one of the most common lizards in the eastern U.S.
Often called blue-tailed skinks, however only the juveniles have such a marking. After a few years, when they become sexually mature, they no longer have blue cabooses but do have five prominent lines that run the length of their bodies. Hence the name. The males have rosy red throats.
As a group, skinks are only second to genkos in number of overall lizard species worldwide: roughly 1200 known species.
Skinks can be distinguished from other "true" lizards by their relatively short legs and lack of neck. (I know a few football players that fit that description.)
Skinks can often be found around the foundation of homes; a good thing because they primarily eat ants.
At Ijams, look for skinks near the Visitor Center outside on walls and fences and the large stones near the Plaza Pond.
- Story and photo by Stephen Lyn Bales.