DEEP: Five-lined Skink

Five-lined Skink

(Eumeces fasciatus)


IDENTIFICATION: Connecticut's only lizard, distinguished from the smooth skinned salamanders (which are amphibians but often referred to as lizards) by the presence of scales. The scales are smooth, the dorsal coloration brown, with five cream-colored longitudinal lines. Old males may be more uniformly bronze colored, with a bright red head. Juveniles have bright blue tails. Body size of adults 35-70 mm with males considerably larger than females.

Reported from three historical sites and seven current localities, the skink is one of Connecticut's most elusive species. Its northeastern range limit is in western Connecticut. It favors steep, open, rocky areas surrounded by deciduous forest and has been found around wooden sheds and outbuildings. Most skink habitat is rugged and inaccessible; some sites are subject to periodic fires. The primary conservation concern in Connecticut is the isolation of these skink populations from one another, which compromises their ability to recover from ecological catastrophes, such as fire and disease, through immigration of skinks from other populations. The five-lined skink is a "Threatened Species" in Connecticut and is strictly protected on state lands. It is considered extirpated in Massachusetts, and is of conservation concern in both Vermont and New York.

Lizards | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut