Common Five-lined Skink
State Listing: Threatened
Commonly Confused Native Species:
Often Not Confused with other Species
Size: Connecticut’s only species of lizard measuring 5 to 8.5
inches in length.
Color: Five-lined skinks get their name from the five
creamish-white longitudinal lines running down their
back. The background dorsal coloration is black to dark
brown. Juveniles have blue tails that fade with age.
Females may retain the faded blue tail into adulthood,
while in adult males the blue fades to brown. During the
breeding season males lower jaw and head turns a
bright orange to red in color.
Behavior: When encountered, five-lined skinks are quick to flee and
seek refuge under rocks, vegetation or leaf-litter. If
captured they are quick to bite and often autotomize their
tail (self amputation). Autotomy is a behavior that acts as
a defense against predation; when the tail is grabbed it
is “dropped” and continues to wriggles around distracting
the predator from the skink, allowing it time to flee to
safety. The lost tail will grow back overtime.
Habitat: In Connecticut the five-lined skink prefers open rocky
areas with steep cliffs and ledges. These open rocky
areas, within forests, typically have an abundance of low