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Thursday, July 30, 2009

BLUE TAILED 5-LINE SKINK

SKINK ON MY OLD OUTDOOR TABLE

Outside my home I have a small collection of rocks on an old crazed painted table. A couple of days ago I was out near the table when a quick movement caught my eye and as I looked toward the table, I saw this beautiful Skink. Even though I was several feet away -- the slightest movement I made resulted in the Skink's movement in quick tandem as it sensed my every position. I took a route away from the Skink and went inside to get my camera.

Although I knew it was a Skink I did not know its common name nor its "life style." I read different sites online that mentioned Skinks. I did find that it was a 5-line Blue-tail which are native along with a few other Skinks in this area of Kentucky. Also found an excellent site that covers the "life style" of the Blue-tail.

SKINKS LOVE TO SUN THEMSELVES

After all this scouting around online I found out that what I had seen was a young female 5-line Skink. Males have blue tails when young but they eventually turn black or brown. The older female's tail fades to a dusty blue. The Skink on my table therefore was not a baby but a young female that measured about six inches. Babies are about two inches.

These Blue tails are harmless. They are great in garden as they eat lots of insects.

The "magical" thing about a Skink's tail is that is comes off if a predator is near and while off wiggles to attract the predator. Nature is amazing! The Skink grows back a modified version of the old tail.

We have had so much rain starting in early Spring that my property is a holy grail for nature critters that relish water and 5-liners like water. I suppose this is why I have a Skink hanging around. Or perhaps they have been around and I just have not noticed. So much to take in at this place in the country.

Post Photos by Barbara, folkways notebook

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