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Five-lined skink

FILE - A five-lined skink.
FILE - A five-lined skink.

Plestiodon fasciatus, commonly known as the five-lined skink, is one of the most common lizards in the eastern United States.

Transcript (edited for clarity):


Hi, this is Rudy Mancke from USC for NatureNotes.

Lorraine lives in the Edgemoor, South Carolina area. And her daughter, Layla, saw a lizard and wondered what kind it was. And her sister, Sophia, took a photograph and sent it to me. They thought it might be one of those blue tailed skinks, and they were correct.

It's one that has real shiny scales on it. And younger ones usually have blue tails, which are often lost when they get to be a little bit older.

Of course, these are never a problem, and we don't have any venomous lizards in South Carolina. Although sometimes in older generations, these skinks were called "scorpions," and people believed, like my grandmother, that they could cause some problems.

But five-lined skink would be probably the best name for it. They recycle a lot of insects and spiders. And of course, as I said, no problem to people.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's <i>NatureScene</i>, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. After retiring from SCETV, Rudy went on to become naturalist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He hosted SC Public Radio's <i>NatureNotes</i> from 1999 until his death in 2023 at age 78.