16 June 2009

Probably a five-lined skink...

...but I am not sure. I photographed this creature along the Billy Goat Trail last Saturday. It was probably at least ~20 cm long.

skink1

It is either the common five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus) or the broad-headed skink (Eumeces laticeps). According to Amphibians and Reptiles of Delmarva (White & White, 2002), the 2 species may be distinguished by their numbers of certain facial scales.


Figure 17 from Amphibians and Reptiles of Delmarva.

This particular individual had 4 upper labial scales, which would make it a five-lined skink. But only 1 postlabial scale is visible in the photo. So, either the 2nd postlabial isn't visible or this is an unusual specimen. Based on its coloration, it's a male (of either species).

skink2

Yes, I am surprised too that I could get so close to it before it finally ran away.

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