Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Skinks
Skinks (family Scincidae) tend to have smooth bodies, short legs, and round tails. Many burrow and most, except for those in Florida which are all egg layers, bear live young. They are usually active during the day. Their diet consists of insects. Mole skinks all burrow underground in loose sand. Some lay their eggs as deep as six feet underground.
 

 
The Southern Coal Skink, Eumeces anthracinus pluvialis, is found on moist hillsides of deciduous and pine woods in the western panhandle. It is tan or brown with four light stripes, and brown sides. During the spring breeding season, males have reddish jaws and cheeks. Maximum length is 8".
 
The Five-lined Skink, Eumeces fasciatus, is found in the panhandle and north Florida. Males are light brown with dark sides and may have stripes. During the breeding season (April to early May), they have red orange jaws and cheeks. Females are dark brown with five light stripes. Maximum length is 8".
 
The Southeastern Five-lined Skink, Eumeces inexpectatus, is found throughout the state. It is brown with five light stripes extending from the nose to the tail. Adults reach a length of 8" and may retain the blue coloring on the tail seen in juveniles. During the spring breeding season, males have red orange jaws and cheeks. It is most often found on the ground or on man-made structures though it sometimes climbs on tree trunks.
 
The Broad-headed Skink, Eumeces laticeps, is found throughout the panhandle and down the peninsular to mid-central Florida. It is the largest of the state's skinks, reaching 13" in length. Juveniles have five stripes and blue tails but adult males become solid brown with reddish-orange heads. It is active during the day, often climbing high into trees, and inhabits pine and oak woods and cypress swamps.
 

 
** PROTECTED **
The Florida Sand Skink, Neoseps reynoldsi, is rare, found in sandy scrub habitats in central Florida, particularly those areas where Florida rosemary grows. It is silvery gray to tan, reaches a length of 5", and spends most of its time underground.
 

 
The Ground Skink, Scincella laterale, is found throughout the state. It is small (5"), light brown with a dark brown stripe down each side, and has a brown to bluish black tail. While often found in gardens, it is very shy and hides quickly when approached.
 

 
Mole Skinks
 
** PROTECTED **
The Florida Keys Mole Skink, Eumeces egregius egregius, is found in the Florida Keys. Reaching 6" in length, it has a brown body, eight yellow stripes, and a black-striped reddish tail. It can sometimes be found under fallen fronds.
 
** PROTECTED **
The Cedar Key Mole Skink, Eumeces egregius insularis, is found on Cedar and Seahorse Keys. It has a dark orange tail and may have light stripes running the length of its body. It grows to 6.4" long.
 
** PROTECTED **
The Bluetail Mole Skink, Eumeces egregius lividus, is found only in the highland ridge area of central Florida where much of its habitat has been cleared. Most adults grow to 6.5" and maintain their blue tails, though some become salmon pink.
 
The Peninsula Mole Skink, Eumeces egregius onocrepis, is found in dry habitats, including coastal dunes, in peninsular Florida. Reaching 6", it has a brown body, yellow stripes that extend from the nose over each eye and down its sides, and a pink, red, or light blue tail. It is active during the day, and can sometimes be found under palmetto fronds.
 
The Northern Mole Skink, Eumeces egregius similis, is found in dry sandy and rocky areas of the panhandle. It is 6" long, gray to tan with a red orange or reddish brown tail.
 

[ Reptile Index | Protected Reptiles ]
Wildlife Menu
Your Florida BackyardBird MenuBook MenuButterfly MenuDisasters MenuGardening/Native Plants MenuPhoto GalleryWeather MenuWildlife MenuNS Menu

Copyright © 1997-2005  Marianne Cowley
All Rights Reserved