Friday, November 27, 2009

The tail, attached

I think the wayward tail in the previous entry probably came from one of these: the Five-Lined Skink, Eumeces fasciatis.

Skinks belong to a branch of the lizard family tree. They're characterized by slick shiny scales and a "snaky" body and movements. Their lack of a distinct neck adds to their snake-like charisma. The Five-Lined Skink is pretty common in North Central Texas, in woodland areas where conditions stay a bit damp. That lovely blue tail is a sign of a juvenile. Sadly, the blue fades to greyish as the skink ages, especially in the males.

They're frequent visitors to our porch, stalking around looking for insects. This one was hanging around enjoying the warm wood of the railing. I was amazed that it let me get so close with my intrusive camera: this picture was taken while I was only a couple of feet away. I guess it was confident in its escape abilities: when disturbed, they move so fast they seem to disappear.

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