Skink Nest With Eggs

I was doing some yard work yesterday, and I moved a rubber mat that I had put over my water box to help keep it from freezing in the winter. There was a skink under it, which didn’t surprise me. It didn’t move, which is what I expected it to do, and when I checked back later to see if it had moved, I found that it had laid seven eggs in a shallow nest cavity.

That’s something I hadn’t seen before. I covered her back up, and hope she’ll be OK. We see these “blue tailed lizards” often, along with the fence lizards, but I feel that the numbers of both are down this year, for whatever reason. This summer has been on the wetter end of the scale, but I don’t know if that would affect the lizard population.

According to the range maps in Jensen, Camp, Gibbons, and Elliott’s Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia (University of Georgia Press, 2008) the skinks in our range are Five-lined Skinks, not Southeastern Five-lined Skinks, which are similar lizards that occur to the south and west of northeast Georgia. The Five-lined Skinks are shown in nearly all Georgia counties, so the range of the two species largely overlap. The usual site for a nest is said to be in a rotten log or stump. The females usually remain with their eggs for the one to two month period before they hatch, and do not actively forage during that time.

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