Broadheaded skink

Eumeces laticeps

SUBFAMILY

Scincinae

TAXONOMY

Eumeces laticeps Schneider, 1801. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Scorpion, greater five-lined skink; French: Euméces à tête large; German: Breitkopfskink.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

These are moderately large, brown skinks. Males have reddish heads during the breeding season.

DISTRIBUTION

The species is widespread in the southeastern United States, from eastern Texas north through eastern Oklahoma and east-

HABITAT

Bobtails are found in all terrestrial habitats, including sclero-phyll forests, hummock grasslands, chenopod shrublands, mallee, and sparsely vegetated coastal dunes, but it is uncommon in dense forests and swamps.

BEHAVIOR

These are slow-moving, lethargic lizards. When threatened, they open their mouths wide and wave their blue tongues.

ern Kansas to southern Missouri. They occur in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, east to Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey and south to northern Florida. They also are found throughout Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

HABITAT

Broad-headed skinks inhabit swamps, woodlands, forests, and urban lots strewn with debris.

BEHAVIOR

These skinks are strongly arboreal, adeptly climbing trees and fences. They operate at relatively low body temperatures but are wary, sleek, and slippery lizards.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These active, widely foraging skinks consume a wide variety of arthropods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

In Florida, mating occurs in April and May, but it is somewhat later further north. During the breeding season, males have red heads, which are used as displays in male-male combat as well as in courtship of females. Males face off, moving in a circle; lunge at each other; and aggressively bite the head, neck, and tail of the other male. Tail loss and wounds on the head and neck result, and eventually the loser retreats. Males fight over females, chasing each other up and down trees. Females deposit six to 10 eggs and usually guard their clutches until they hatch.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment