7.26.2008

Skink In Hand

Most of the time I only get to see skinks from a distance. Get too close and they scurry off into the bushes. This female skink happened to be out in the wide open. A golden opportunity! After chasing her around, sometimes on my hands and knees, much to the amusement of spectators, I was able to catch her. Since I grabbed her with my right hand I had to photograph with my left -- not an ideal situation. Time to improvise! Using the steps to the back deck of our center as a prop to lean against, I put the camera down on the deck and positioned my captive in front of the lens -- again, much to the amusement of spectators.

First, a picture of the supralabials (scales above the mouth)
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OK, eight of those.


Next, a shot of the postmentals (chin scales)

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Two of those.

One more shot, this time of the subcaudals

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...scales in the median row appear wider. Hope it doesn't matter that she has a regenerated tail!

Conclusion: Broadhead skink, Plestidon laticeps or, if you have an older text, Eumeces laticeps.

By the time I let her go, she was quite calm. When I set her down she did not immediately run away, but instead sat and pondered me for a while. Hopefully, she was not thinking evil thoughts about me ;)

4 comments:

Hugh said...

Lovely skink! As a former skink wrangler, I understand the challenge completely. The pictures turned out very well.

Wren said...

Nice - what a great encounter, and great photos, too. That the tail is regenerated is obvious once you pointed it out, but I would have missed that if you hadn't. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is that sand or parasites on her scales?

I love lizards. So cute.

swamp4me said...

hugh,
Thanks, I thought you might like the skink.

wren,
The tail is obvious is you see the whole skink. It was fun to chase and catch the skink -- the 50 year old knees complained a little though ;)

anonymous,
I believe it's sand. She had a clutch of eggs in some sand under a pile of mulch.