Distribution

Skinks are cosmopolitan, occurring on all continents except Antarctica as well as on many oceanic islands. They have colonized the New World only a handful of times. As a result, only a few genera are represented (e.g., Eumeces, Mabuya, Neoseps, Scincella, and Sphenomorphus). Nevertheless, two genera have been particularly successful, the scincine Eumeces in North America and the lygosomine Mabuya in South America. About 30 species of Eumeces and 15 species of Mabuya are found in the New World. Both genera are also represented in the Old World.

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Blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides) threat display. (Illustration by Amanda Humphrey)

Bobtail Skink
A bobtail skink (Tiliqua rugosa) in defensive posture. (Photo by Animals Animals ┬ęPatti Murray. Reproduced by permission.)

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