Southern Maryland Reptiles and Amphibians: Broad-headed Skink

This is a broad-headed skink that I found recently. Time to look for lizards!

The female broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps) looks similar to the five-lined skink (Plestidon fasciatus). Both have a blue tail when young; the adult females might have a blue tail as well. To distinguish the two species apart, you must look closely at the scales on the upper lip.

A broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps) has 5 scales on its upper lip from the nostril to the corner of its eye. The five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) had four scales.

3 thoughts on “Southern Maryland Reptiles and Amphibians: Broad-headed Skink

  1. Trevor Shine

    We have recently found two shinks, we don’t know what to feed them, what temp. to keep them in and weather they are poisionous or not, if you could help with this. My son would like to keep them. Is this possible? Thank you

  2. jane Post author

    Trevor,
    When I kept them or friends have kept them (temporarily), we feed them small crickets that we got from a pet store. These skinks are not poisonous. We like to keep these “wild” critters for a short time only. Use outdoor temperature as your guide but keep in mind that they might take shelter in a cooler spot during really hot days. You might want to do some more research. Use this opportunity as a learning experience.
    Best of luck.

  3. Kelly

    I just got one for my son I got one of the reptile lamps,turn on at night,turn off during the day,He loves itCrickets I get at a petshop and he loves to eat.He is spoiled already,his aquarium looks like the outdoors,Plentyof things to climb and to hide in.I worked at a petshop for a while and love working with Lizards and other animals

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