Broadhead skinks are the largest skinks in our region. Adults are usually olive-brown, and males have orange-red heads which fade by early summer. Adult females are often striped, resembling adult five-lined skinks. The young are dark brown or black with five, sometimes seven, yellow stripes and bright blue tails. Broadhead skinks can be distinguished from five-lined skinks by larger size and five labial (lip) scales rather than four. kinks, particularly young individuals with blue tails, are often called "scorpions" and are thought to have a venomous sting. This myth is false, and although a large skink can deliver a powerful nip, no lizards in the Southeastern United States are dangerous to humans.
Ten Facts about Broad-headed Skink
- Broadhead skinks typically eat arthropods such as earthworms, grasshoppers, butterflies, cockroaches, and small beetles.
- They can be found in most habitats but are most common in swamp forests and empty urban lots strewn with debris.
- Nests have been found in old sawdust piles, under logs, and under similar surface cover.
- Females lay from 8 to 22 eggs in June or July.
- Young usually hatch by September.
- Adult male broadhead skinks may reach more than a foot in length and develop orange-red heads during certain times of the year.
- Life span of up to six years.
- The larger the female, the more eggs she will lay.
- Males thus often try to mate with the largest female they can find, and they sometimes in engage severe fights with other males over access to a female.
- Broad-headed skinks are widely distributed in the south-eastern states of the U.S., from the East Coast to Kansas and eastern Texas and from Ohio to the Gulf Coast.