They are found here and there in southeastern Canada, on the western edge of New England to upstate New York, on Michigan’s lower peninsula, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, south to the Gulf Coast in eastern Texas, and northern Florida.
They live in wet forests, swampy areas, drier rocky places, rotting stumps and woodpiles.
They are up to 8 inches long with 5 lights stripes on their dark body. Their scaly skin is shiny. Young skinks have a blue tail. As they get older the blue fades away and males get a reddish head.
When a predator grabs a skink by the tail, the tail will break off. It then wiggles to keep the predator busy until the skink can get away. It re-grows the tail later.
They eat spiders, insects, like: crickets and grasshoppers, and centipedes.
The female eats the male after mating. Then lays 25 – 900 eggs in an oval, brown, papery egg sac. They hatch after about 3 weeks.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Skink (Five-Lined)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. February 1, 2023
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