Lizards and Skinks: Slithering through the leaves in Delaware
Aside from mammals, fish, and birds, Delaware also has a few curious animals which prefer slithering through dead leaves and generally keeping out of view (of predators, mostly).
Unlike the others on the list which swim, fly, or chase after prey, these fellows try to stay out of the spotlight. What are they? Lizards and Skinks. Here are the three most common you’ll most likely encounter around the First State.
First, we have The Eastern Fence Lizard.
The Eastern Fence Lizard is a common lizard found along the East Coast and surrounding areas, including the First State. Primarily seen between December and March, its color varies from black or brown to light gray or tan. They live in decaying wood piles, orchards and gardens as well as fields, brush and forests.
In a lifetime of watching lizards, the Eastern Fence Lizard has to be one of the most common. It prefers savanna-type habitats, usually around trees and shrubs, but can also be found in more open grasslands and mixed forests. Its diet consists mainly of insects, but the Eastern Fence Lizard will also eat larger insects, berries and even small rodents like mice or voles
You can read more about the Eastern Fence Lizard here
Next, we have the The Five-lined Skink
The five-lined skink looks something like a cross between a garter snake and a gecko. Named for its distinctive five-line pattern of stripes that run down its body, this aquatic reptile is a small species of skink that can be found in damp forested areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It has distinctive stripes running along the length of its body.
This small amphibious reptile that uses its long, slender tail to prop itself up and move around. It can be found in damp forested areas throughout the nearby areas of Chesapeake Bay, including Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, but prefers to live in high elevations within its range, and can also be found along coastal marshes and estuaries throughout the eastern United States.
You can read more about the the five-lined skink here
And lastly, we have the Little Brown Skink.
The little brown skink is a ground-dweller that lives in and around forests, streams and wetlands. With dark brown or black stripes and speckling along the sides, they have small heads and bodies, with medium-sized eyes. Its body length is less than two inches long, with a tail that is three times longer than their body.
Its eyes are yellow-orange and its ears have patches of pink. It has an olive green body with brown stripes, giving it an easily recognizable appearance. The little brown skink is up to 8 inches long, but can grow up to 6 inches in length. It may be small, but the little brown skink can be aggressive if it feels threatened. Its dark brown or black stripes and speckling along the sides give it a distinct look.