Critters of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.

Where Spotted: Reedy Creek
Common Name: Blue Tailed Skink or Common Five-Lined Skink
Scientific Name: Plestiodon fasciatus
Length: 5 – 8.5 in. (12.5 – 21.5 cm)

We admit to not being sure if this is a Common Five-Lined Skink or a Southeastern Five-Lined Skink. Any corrections or clarifications are welcome.

Quick Facts (Virginia Herpetological Society)

  • Male aggressive behavior is initially visual and consists of pointing the snout downward and tilting the head to one side so that the widest part is visible to the opponent.
  • Males perform actual combat by biting each other on the head and throwing opponents through the air.
  • The blue tail of juveniles is an antipredator adaptation that serves to attract the predator away from the vulnerable part of the lizard, its body.
  • Once broken off, the tail twitches for a period of time, distracting the potential predator further.
  • At onset of sexual maturity the tail color changes from blue to a cryptic gray-brown.

Sam Merlotte at Richmond SPCA

Age: 3 years, 8 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Brown / White
Size: S (dog size guide)
ID: 34411961

Sam Merlotte is a friendly little guy looking for his new home! Please come visit with him today.



About Richard Hayes 3960 Articles
Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game and/or beer.