Skink in the garden

A lunchtime trip to the garden in Virginia and there’s a Skink on the path. It’s bathing in the hot sun and completely motionless:

Skink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I wish I was.

Skink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

This one is a male in full breeding colours. That’s what his red head is all about.

Skink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There are only two species here. The Five Lined Skink, Plestiodon inexpectatus, and the Broad Headed Skink Plestiodon laticeps. They were only separated as separate species in 1932. This is a Broad-Headed Skink:

Skink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve spent time studying the scale pattern of its lips and ears and I’m feeling confident with my identification.

Later in the day I see another one in a local nature preserve with incredible iridescent rainbow scales.

Skink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

This one? I just can’t tell.

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