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Posts Tagged ‘Common Five-Lined Skink’

I really love the look of young Common Five-lined Skinks (Plestiodon fasciatus), when their tails are bright blue, like this one that I spotted last Thursday while exploring in Prince William County. The blue color gradually fades as the skinks mature and as a result it becomes a bit harder to spot the adults in the wild.

We do not have very many lizards where I live, so I am always happy to see one of these skinks. They are generally about 5 to 8.5 inches in length (13 to 21 cm), including their tails, and tend to be very skittish. I have read that a skink can shed its tail if a predator grabs onto it and then regenerate somewhat imperfectly the lost portion of the tail, but I have never knowingly seen a skink with a regrown tail.

Common Five-lined Skink

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The bright blue color of a juvenile skink’s tail is so startling and whimsical that I never fail to smile whenever I see one. When I first spotted this Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus), it was basking in the sun on top of a concrete fishing platform at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. As I approach, it scurried under the platform and I stopped and waited. Eventually the skink poked its head out and cautiously crawled forward and I was able to capture this image.

Generally I prefer a more natural backdrop for my shots of insects and amphibians, but in this case I really like the varied colors and textures of the man-made materials. I also like the angular lines that contrast nicely with the curves of the skink’s body. Finally the neutral colors of the image help to draw the viewer’s eyes to the beautiful blue tail.

juvenile skink

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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A warm, sunny springtime day caused all kinds of creatures to appear, including this Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) that I spotted on a concrete fishing platform at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetlands Refuge in Alexandria, Virginia. This variety of skinks is one of the few lizards in the area in which I live and the skinks tend to be elusive and skittish, so I generally see only the tail of the skink as it is running away.

This skink and I engaged in a protracted game of hide-and-seek as I sought to get close enough for some shots. Although I would have been a bit happier with a more natural backdrop, I am relatively content with the images that I was able to capture.

Common Five-lined Skink

 

Common Five-lined Skink

Common Five-lined Skink

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When this Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) is standing up, it looks pretty tall, but as the second image shows, it can get down so low that I don’t think that you could want to challenge it to a limbo contest.

How low can you go?

skinkCommon FIve-lined Skink

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Is it just me, or does the word “skink” sound funny to you? Certain words simply sound odd to me and for some reason “skink” is one of them—I can’t help but smile whenever I say the word out loud.

Recently I took this shot of a Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus, formerly Eumeces fasciatus) at my local marshland park. It was sunning itself on a rotten log and didn’t detect my presence immediately and run away, which is what usually happens when I spot a skink. It seems to have its head cocked a little and has a smile on its face, as though daydreaming, as I do when sunbathing.

skink1_blog

 

I wonder if you could use “skink” as a verb to describe the crawling-type behavior typical of a skink, as in, “I saw my friend skinking about.” If “skink” were a verb, would it follow the model of “drink,” with verbal forms that included “skank” and “skunk?”  That might induce a bit of confusion, I suppose, since “skank” suggests a different kind of behavior, as does “skunk.” English can be a strange language.

I’ll just continue smiling.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The warmer weather seems to have brought out all of the critters in my marshland park, including what I think is a Common Five-Lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus). I don’t often see lizards around here, so I was particularly happy when this one slowly crawled down a tree, permitting me to get this shot.

I wonder why he was sticking out his tongue at me.

skink_edited-1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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