Broadhead Skink


Tallahassee, United States

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Artist's Description

We were in the Apalachicola National Forest last week fishing at a small creek. This skink came swimming across the creek and climbed a tree next to us.
The broad-headed skink gets its name from the wide jaws, giving the head a triangular appearance. Adult males are brown or olive brown in color and have bright orange heads during the mating season in spring. Females have five light stripes running down the back and the tail, similar to the Five-lined Skink. Juveniles are dark brown or black and also striped and have blue tails.

These skinks are the most arboreal of the North American Eumeces. Although they do occur in urban areas, their preferred habitat are humid forest areas with abundant leaf litter, especially oak forests. They forage on the ground, but also easily and often climb trees for shelter or sleep or searching for food.

Females typically are larger than males. The larger the female, the more eggs she will lay. Males thus often try to mate with the largest female they can find, and they sometimes in engage severe fights with other males over access to a female. The female lays between 8 and 22 eggs, which she guards and protects until they hatch in June or July. The hatchlings have a total length of 6 centimetres (2.4 in) to 8 centimetres (3.1 in). Adult broad-headed skinks can grow to about 13 inches in length.
Taken with a Canon T1i.

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