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09 August 2007

That Just Skinks

Some of the regular visitors to our back steps are hard to capture. They're shy and really, really fast! Thanks to my camera's right nice zoom, I occasionally manage to sneak up on one and snap a couple times before he goes POUFE!

The first three pics might be Southeastern Five-lined Skinks. Or maybe Five-lined or Broad-headed Skinks. Someone more knowledgeable than I might be able to turn them over and tell the difference. (Something about the scales?) The bottom one is probably a Broad-headed Skink. The one thing I know for sure... the one with the bright blue tail is a juvenile. Whatever variety, they're welcome to hang out and eat their fill of bugs. 8-]
Skinks are the most diverse group of lizards, with about 1200 species. About 55% are oviparous - they lay eggs. The other 45% bear live young.
Addendum: According to my quick research, there is a strong possibility that these are all the same type of skink. Apparently, the adult males are very territorial.


Meems said...

right nice zoom for certain. :-) we used to see lots more skinks around several years back. only occasionally do i spot one recently. hmmm... not sure why. we DO have an abundance of every size and color of lizard the Lord made though.

MLM said...

Okay. I've officially added "skinks" to my list of creatures that gross me out.

rcwbiologist said...

Great photos. I used to catch many of these in my pitfall traps. The adult broad-headed skinks can really latch onto you when their pissed, and it can be fairly hard to get them to release their grip. Although, they've never drew blood on any of my fingers when they've done that. We also have many of these same species all over and around our house here in the Carolinas.

SophieMae said...

Meems, they don't like to be seen. 8-] If you have any cats around, that might possibly be the cause for their decline.

mlm, aaawww.. they're cute! ;)
Re saving the snake in the earlier post, I had saved his life - by not running over him and making sure he got off the road - the day before. If I'd been out earlier that day, I might have been able to prevent his being run over. I hate to see a snake killed just for the sake of killing a snake.

RCWB, thanks ever so! You and FC seem to have experienced nature a lot closer than I, I'm just as happy to take y'all's word for most of it. 8-}

Floridacracker said...

I have worn anoles on my ears, but never a skink :)
Great closeups of these skinks.

SophieMae said...

FC, welcome back! You should hang an anole on one ear and a skink on the other and see who holds on longer. 8-}

SwampAngel65 said...

Great pictures! I don't know why skinks really gross some people out. I think they're neat little things!

SophieMae said...

Thanks ever so, SwampAngel! So glad you stopped by! I agree... God made so many fascinating creatures, each in its own way. Except rats and roaches. I just can't abide those things at all. 8-\

SwampAngel65 said...

LOL! I'll take rats over roaches anyday, but I suppose I can say that because I haven't even seen a rat in ages :) Now deerflies and horseflies? UGH! I run, screaming from them!

Anonymous said...

They're still too fast and wary for me! I saw one just today, though, on the compost pile.

Great job!

SophieMae said...

Swampangel, I know what you mean about those tabanids! They're relentless. I've found that Burt's Bees repellant does a fairly nice job of keeping them away.

Thank ya kindly, T-fish! They rreally are a challenge. My back steps can be pretty handy. If I can manage to slip the sliding doors open just a bit and stick the camera in the opening at just the right angle... 8-}