Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) - Ohio Herp Atlas

Common Five-lined Skink Plestiodon fasciatus

Skinks are among the fastest reptiles in the world, and when encountered they dart quickly for cover. Individuals almost always bite when first captured, but their extremely small teeth cannot penetrate the skin. The tail of the five-lined skink, which is blue in young animals, serves as a most unusual defense mechanism. If a skink is grabbed by the tail, the tail breaks off. While the would-be captor’s attention is held momentarily by the vigorously wiggling tail, the skink makes a speedy getaway. In time, the skink will grow a new tail, although it will not be as long or as brightly colored as the original one. Five-lined skinks occur throughout Ohio. They can often be located under the bark of decaying logs, in stumps, rock piles, and decaying plant material. LENGTH: 5”–8.5”

Text courtesy of the Ohio Division of Wildlife: https://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/publications/id%20guides/pub354_Reptiles-opt.pdf

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
Photographs
Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)