Have you ever seen a lizard with an iridescent, blue tail?
Young Common Five-Lined Skink and Southeastern Five-lined Skink have a cobalt/indigo/cerulean blue tail that is a color rarely seen in nature! Its vibrant blue tail stands out amongst its greyish-brown body, making it a real showstopper. It may not be the biggest lizard, but its striking appearance has earned it plenty of admirers.
With their sleek and shiny scales, they look like tiny dragons come to life. But don’t let their looks fool you – these little creatures are more than meets the eye. Skinks have amazing adaptations that help them survive in their habitats, such as burrowing underground or blending into their surroundings for camouflage.
These lizards usually have long, thin bodies and their tail is often a vibrant blue color, great for distracting prey.
The bright blue tail is also a signaling device. It helps the lizard signal other members of its species. On their back and sides they may be various shades of brown, gray, black, or white. The coloring helps them blend in with their environment and makes it difficult for predators to spot them. The underside of the lizard is usually a lighter color that can range from light yellow to pinkish-white.
What really sets the blue-tailed skink apart, however, is its impressive agility and intelligence.
It can run quickly across surfaces and even climb walls if needed. They have sharp claws on their feet for climbing trees and rocks, as well as a long, sticky tongue that helps them capture prey. Five-lined skinks’ diet consists of insects, worms, small reptiles, and other invertebrates. They also eat fruit and berries.
Skinks’ ability to solve puzzles in captivity has also been documented, leading some to consider it one of the most remarkable lizards out there.
Skinks save themselves from predators by sacrificing their own tails, should they be in a precarious position. This process, known as autotomy, allows them to distract their attackers and escape quickly. Amazingly, skinks can regenerate their lost limbs or appendages later on.
So next time you’re on Daufuskie, don’t be surprised if you come across a skink who just wants to say hello!