Broad-Headed Skink

by Daisy


I was pleased to get this photo of a broad-headed skink sunning himself on a flagstone in my garden recently. By his coloration (the red head) I could identify it as a male. They have that bright noggin in the spring to attract the ladies.

The female broad-headed skink doesn’t have the red head. It’s an olive brown color with five lighter stripes down its back and tail. The young are also brown and striped and with blue tails.

They are semi-arboreal (spend lots of time in trees), and they eat insects and occasionally small fruit, such as blackberries. The females are unusual among most lizards in that they stay with their eggs until they hatch. The eggs are usually laid in nests made in rotting logs and holes in trees where they can stay moist.

IMG_2431They’re usually found in small numbers, needing a relatively large territory. They can be very territorial and aggressive to other males during mating season. They usually bear some scars from fights. This one seems to have lost his tail at some point but it is mostly grown back.

This guy can get up to 17 inches long. Happy to have him in my garden.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy S June 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Very cool. I had never heard of this kind of skink. We have blue tailed skinks, and that probably isn’t their real name. I like them too. Thanks for the pictures and info.

Debbie June 5, 2014 at 5:25 am

My mother in law has a large population of these at her house and sometimes they wander inside. They are very aggressive and if they bite, according to one of our local Fish and Wildlife officers, they won’t let go. And they can draw blood.



Dairy Maid June 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm

We have these all over our terrace. I’ve always wondered why until I read that they lay eggs in dead wood. We have a large pile of what was meant to be fire wood but is now just composting wood. The skinks are in and out of that, sunning on the brick wall, and skittering away all day long. They always take off when we see them, but I will definitely keep in mind their willingness to bite!

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