I have a pet skink. He shares my office here at Lights Out in Ruckersville. He, or a member of his clan, has been with me with four years. I see him every summer. He sneaks under a small crack below my front door.
He stopped by for a visit last week and scooted across the carpet. He was casing the joint, looking for a mid-afternoon snack, maybe an ant or spider. A cricket would qualify as a feast.
Skinks are those small lizards you often see on steps or stoops. They are officially called Five Line Skinks because of the distinct lines along their backs. They are pretty creatures, almost iridescent in color. Young skinks have bright blue tails, and the Five Line Skink is often called the Blue Tailed Skink. Interestingly, the small lizards often use their tails to distract predators and if one grabs a skink by the tail, the tail breaks off and the skink can grow a new one.
These small lizards run between about 4 to 6 inches in length. They eat most any small insect and are actually kept as pets by some humans.
Five Line Skinks are said to originate in Virginia and are spread across North America. Skinks eat a variety of insects and hibernate as do other cold blooded creatures. They love to bathe in the sun.
I thought I saw a tiny little bottle of sunscreen near the front door, but I could be mistaken. It was a very small bottle, but it sure smelled like sunscreen. A skink can never be too careful about UV rays, you know. You can grow a new tail, but skin is forever.