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- Rori Paloski
Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
- Family: Scincidae (Skinks)
- Status: Special Concern
- Size: 5 to 8 in. with tail
Skinks have very shiny, smooth scales. Young adult females and juveniles typically have black bodies with five yellow longitudinal stripes running along the back and sides, and bright blue tails. The central dorsal stripe runs onto the head where it Y's. As females age, their background color fades from black to brown, the stripes fade to tan, and their tails turn blue-gray. Adult males are a uniform tan or olive color with faint lateral stripes that fade with age. During breeding season, males' heads turn a reddish-orange color. Skinks live in oak and pine barrens and along the edges of dry hardwood forests or in grassy openings in these forests. They prefer damp microhabitats such as rotting logs and stumps where they find abundant food and also nest. Females brood their eggs until they hatch. Their diet consists of spiders, crickets, beetles, and snails.