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Rori Paloski

Lizards of Wisconsin

Wisconsin's four lizard species share several traits. All four require sandy soils for burrowing and hibernating, and as a result, all have very patchy distributions. All four lay eggs and their hatchlings look like tiny replicas of the adults, except that the three species with legs hatch with blue tails. When seized, lizards can drop their tails and the severed, wriggling tail often distracts predator's giving the lizard a chance to escape. However, being unique among reptiles, lizards can regenerate their tail. Lizards have the shortest active season of any Wisconsin herptile, emerging from hibernation in late April or May and re-entering in early September.

Common Name Scientific Name Family Status
Common Five-lined Skink Plestiodon fasciatus Scincidae Common
Prairie Skink Plestiodon septentrionalis Scincidae Special Concern
Six-lined Racerunner Aspidoscelis sexlineatus Teiidae Special Concern
Slender Glass Lizard Ophisaurus attenuatus Anguidae Endangered
Last revised: Tuesday, December 22, 2020