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Sunday, April 17, 2005


Skinky Pays a Vist

Sometimes even a mundane chore turns out good.

I went out this morning to do some belated raking and disposing of leaves(belated, as in should have been done before last November.) As I was cleaning the damp leaf litter away from a retaining wall, I saw what looked like a small, flourescent-blue snake qickly slither away.

I bent down to brush aside some more leaf litter and caught a beautiful Five-Lined Skink, Eumeces fasciatus. I've seen these guys scurry in and out of cracks in the retaining wall for years, but I've never been fast enough to catch one.

Eumeces fasciatus
Skinky, out for a walk Posted by Hello

Isn't he a beauty? This picture shows off his handsome face and elegant "fingers," but unfortunately, I didn't get a good photo of his amazing blue tail before he managed to wiggle free.

Via the Internet, I learned that Skinky belongs to the only type of skink found in Maryland. In the United States as a whole, there are 15 species, and worldwide, 1280. You can find skinks on every continent except Antarctica.

By the way, please don't confuse skink-y with stink-y! "Skink" comes from the Greek skinkos, meaning lizard, while "stink" comes from the German stinken, which means... well, I don't have to spell it out, do I? In any event, Skinky wasn't at all stinky.

He is definitely a beauty!

I'm impressed that you were able to catch him, at least long enough to take this pic.

Perhaps you should have salted his tail then he would have stayed longer -- or does that just apply to squirrels? ;-)

-- Prairie Girl
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