Monday, November 9, 2009

Skilton Skink

The Skilton skink is a subspecies of the western skink and is found in western California, northern California, most of Oregon and eastern Washington. It also goes into mid-southern British Columbia. It has a slim body, small head, small legs and is smooth and shiny. It has three dark brown and light cream stripes. During the breeding season, adults develop reddish orange coloring on the side of the head, chin, the tail, and sometimes on the sides. This skink was caught by Jeff Brice in his garden in Redlands. It appears to have a little reddish orange coloring on the tail, head and chin.

From a different angle.

A dark brown stripe, edged with black, extends from the nose to the tail down the middle of the back. It is bordered by two pale stripes which extend from the nose above the eye to the tail. Two more dark brown stripes extend down the side, through the eyes, to the tail. Below is a close-up of the stripes on the back.

The pale white stripe over the eye.

A closeup of the tail.

The stripes on juveniles have an even greater contrast and they have a bright blue tail. We saw a juvenile Skilton skink on the trail up Mt. San Bernardino, above Angeles Oaks. I caught it and it dropped its tail. We got a poor picture of the skink, in my hands, before it got away.

I hold its detached tail, which it uses as a very effective diversion to escape.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of our two-and-a-half-year-old Savannah holding a twitching lizard tail a few months back. Creepy.