Eco: Five-lined Skink, CT's only native lizard
Only one lizard, the Five-lined Skink, is native to New England. Skinks are rare throughout their range, including Connecticut. They are found in a few, isolated populations, leaving them vulnerable to localized environmental disturbances or catastrophes such as fire.
A Five-lined Skink showing the red coloration males take on around their jaws and head during breeding season. Photo by herpetologist Brian Kleinman, made in Connecticut. © Perry Heights Press 2005.
Younger individuals can show five, distinct, yellowish stripes or lines down their backs and tails. Juveniles can also show a deep blue color on their tails. During breeding season, males heads turn bright red, but skinks' colorations tend to fade as the season progresses, and as individuals grow older. Evidence collected by herpetologist Hank Gruner, of the Science Center of Connecticut, suggests skinks are insectivorous, and eat a variety of bugs such as flies, ants, and beetles.