MorphologyRead full entry
Adult Five-lined Skinks are from 12.7 to 21.6 cm in length. They are characterized by five yellow to cream colored stripes of equal width running from the snout to tail. These stripes, separated by darker lines, may lighten with age, eventually disappearing in older males. The typical black background color of juveniles and young adult females also fades with age to a brown, gray, or olive hue in adults. The body is slender and long and lacks a distinct neck. The head is wedge-shaped. The small limbs have five toes each with well-developed claws. Hatchlings are from 5 to 6.4 cm in length. They possess bright blue tails and distinct white or yellow stripes on a black background. Tail color dulls with age, and is more commonly retained in females than males, which display gray tails as adults. Males and females are different in head size and overall coloration. Males develop a widened head and reddish-orange coloration of the snout and jaws during the spring breeding season.
Range length: 12.7 to 21.6 cm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes shaped differently