Wisconsin status: uncommon
Skinks have very shiny, smooth scales. Their colors change as they age. Young adult females and juvenile five-lined skinks usually have black bodies with five long yellow stripes running along their back and sides. Their tails are bright blue. As female skinks age, their background color fades from black to brown and the stripes fade to tan. Their tail turns kind of blue-gray. Adult males are one color, tan or olive with faint stripes that fade with age. During breeding season, males' heads turn a reddish-orange color. (That's one way to get attention.)
Skinks like to live in oak and pine barrens and along the edges of dry hardwood forests or in grassy openings in these forests. They like the area they live in to be somewhat damp--rotting logs and stumps suit them just fine. That's where they'll nest and also find a good supply of food. They eat spiders, crickets, beetles, and snails.