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.
They’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.