Common Five-lined Skink Plestiodon fasciatus - Special Concern

Description: 5 - 8½ inches. Young Five-lined Skinks are black with bright blue tails. There are two bright white or yellow stripes down each side, as well as one down the center of the back for a total of five stripes. As they age, the tail will lose its blue coloring. Adult females keep the striped look, and may have a bluish-gray, or tan tail. Adult males become almost uniformly brown or tan, but may still show some faint stripes. During breeding season, the heads of males become bright red or orange.

Similar Species: Northern Prairie Skinks have seven stripes; two thin stripes on each side, and three wide stripes on the back. Six-lined Racerunners have three distinct stripes down each side, and one faint stripe down the center of the back.

Comments: Uncommon species in Minnesota.

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

This map is generated from data provided by the Bell Museum of Natural History and HerpMapper.org. Please help us keep it up-to-date by submitting your amphibian and reptile observations.

Photographs