5 Lined Skink

May 12, 2013 | Other

One of the best parts of gardening without conventional pesticides is the wide variety of animal life (vertebrate and invertebrate) that you start to see.  A couple days ago we found a five-lined skink running around not far from our garden.

Five-lined skink

Five-lined skink (Eumecas fasciatus)

The five lined skink is probably the most common lizard that you will find on the east coast.  The skink can be identified by the five golden strips running down its body and it’s blue tail.  Like many lizards, the skink has the ability to shed its tail as a defense mechanism, as evidenced in the one we found.  It will detach its tail if caught by its tail or as a distraction for its predators, as the tail typically continues to twitch after it is shed.

Five-lined skink2

Skinks feed on insects and can be inadvertent targets of pesticide use both directly and indirectly through the food chain.  They can’t be considered a control of any one pest, but they are definitely welcomed guests to our garden for their feeding habits and just as a general curiosity.


Happy gardening!