Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Local Dinosaurs

This is a five-lined skink.  The Latin name makes me laugh:  Plestiodon fasciatus.   It sounds like a dinosaur.

I love these little guys.   They hang out on the deck and the stoop outside the studio door sunning themselves.  

They're shy and only come out if you're sitting very still for a long time [reading a book].   I caught this one on camera through the studio door window where I had been sitting still talking on the phone.   It hid when I leaned back to get the camera but I was patient and it came out again. 

The very young ones have black bodies with white stripes and very long electric blue tails.   It's spectacular.    

The adults are all bronzy gold.   This one is half bronze, half blue-ish.  This is the sub-adult stage.

Adult males have very orange red chins during breeding season and they often lose their stripes.   See this post from Naturespeak for some great pics of an adult male.

Adult females usually keep some lighter stripes.
Here's a better pic of that tail.   It'll come off and wiggle around by itself if a predator attacks.  Another shorter tail will grow back.   This one is a short one - this lizard is a survivor.


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