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Posts Tagged ‘skink’

It was quite startling to see the bright orange color on the head of this Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps) yesterday at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia. We do not have many lizards in our area and they all tend to blend in much better with their surroundings than this one did.

According to information from the Virginia Herpetological Society, adult males of this species are uniformly brown most of the year. However, during mating season in the spring the head of the males becomes enlarged and turns bright orange. The color of their heads gradually fade and the head is reduced in size the rest of the year.

Broad-headed 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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