Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Five-lined skink

An extraordinary reptile, an older male five-lined skink, Eumeces fasciatus, basks atop the kickrail of the boardwalk at Cedar Bog in Champaign County, Ohio. When young, these lizards are prominently striped, don't yet have the orange head, and sport a conspicuous blue tail. With age, the stripes fade and the body turns a rich bronzy-brown, and that amazing orangish coloration develops.

Many a person has had their first exposure to a lizard (in Ohio!) at Cedar Bog. Five-lined skinks are common there, and frequent the boardwalk, or logs and stumps along the trail. Ohio is probably not considered a hotspot for lizards, but several species are locally common, including this one.

Five-lined skinks, like most of our other lizards, can be quite arboreal. I imaged this one on June 2, during a photography workshop at Cedar Bog led by Debbie DiCarlo and myself. It climbed high in a hackberry, pausing along the way to regard our group. The first image was shot the day before. This seems to be a very good year for skinks at the "bog", and if you go, you're probably going to see some. Along with scores of other interesting fauna, and flora.


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