Monday, August 31, 2009


About two weeks ago, I found a big dead skink in a bucket stored under the shed. He had fallen in and couldn't escape and it was my fault. So, I tipped over empty buckets and stuck an escape stick into a couple that were half full of aquarium gravel or hardware.

Somehow, I missed this old metal feed can stuck in the back corner of the shed.
Dang it!

But wait! This one is alive!
Well, all right!
You can see it's a fairly large lizard for a native. I have to add, "...for a native", because we have so many big exotic lizards loose in south Florida.

Underside view.

Head and shoulders portrait.
Nice ears!
Skinks have a very snakey face to me and they move in a sinuous slithery run too. They feed on a variety of insects and other small inverts. I've watched one lapping up ants one after another in the sand by the barn. The skink just perched himself next to an ant trail and lunch was delivered, one after another.
The ants, little mindless robots that they are, could not avoid him. They were slaves to a pheromone trail and could only do as the chemical scent told them.

"... to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."
Captain Ahab
They are wiggily fast, and a little harder to hold on to than a green anole, so I was expecting something like this to happen.
It's a pinch, not a puncture, so it doesn't really hurt.

And yes, I turned that old feed can upside down after the release.


Anonymous said...

Licking his chomps....hmmm tasty!


lisa said...

I think they are pretty neat myself! Lucky you, they only pinch!!

Pablo said...

I wonder if FC tastes like chicken. Fried Chicken?

edifice rex said...

Oooh Pablo, that's bad....heehee!

He is big and feisty! there was a termite swarm here last year and the skinks had a field day. they were running all over the house gobbling up the termites that landed on the house and were walking around. Pro active pest control!

Dani said...

Hehehe! Pablo is so funny!

I love, love, love our skinks! It's so sad that we don't see them here. Wayyyyy too much concrete in this county.

threecollie said...

Was he licking his chops or trying to get the taste out of his mouth? lol
Would love to have skinks...alas just a very few miles too far north for them

debbie said...

We have several beautiful huge skinks around our yard. We have at least 3 families, they live under the back door step, under the outdoor shower, and in the wood pile. I love watching them drive our dogs crazy.

Thunder Dave said...

Agressive little lizzard!
Up close he sort of looks like miniture Komodo Dragon, without the knarly bacteria infested fangs of course.

Sayre said...

We have quite a few around our house. With all the cats we've got, I find that somewhat amazing. They're quick (as you saw) though, and my cats are rather slow...

I didn't know they ate termites - what a handy little critter to have around!

Doug Taron said...

The first time I ever saw a skink in the wild was down at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne. It was my first time in Florida, and even though I was going nuts with all of the butterfly species I'd never seen before, I did manage to watch some of the other biota.

robin andrea said...

I like that skink's attitude. He's tough for a little guy.

nfmgirl said...

I've only seen one or two skinks in my life. I just see brown and green anoles, and one really big iguana!

We were checking out the area behind my shed a few months back, and my mother happened to spot a bucket full of water back there. She said, "Awww. There's a dead lizard that must have fallen in and wasn't able to get out." So she went to tip the bucket out, and lo and behold, the lizard was still alive! Very lucky lizard that we happened by! I've noticed another bucket full of water that someone left over by my water softener. I need to dump that one out and turn it upside down, too.

Thanks for the pics/vid. Very nice!

cinbad122 said...

There was a giant skink in my garage yesterday. Thought I ran over it but Yay...I didn't.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That bite was righteous pay back!

Caroline said...

I am very familiar with the term "being skunked" via family dogs. However, you are the first of the term "being skinked" that I know of.

Deb said...

Skinks are so hardy, we even see a few of them here in the frozen north.

amarkonmywall said...

He has a very snake-like head. It's hard to say whether he was licking his chops or trying to rid himself of the taste. Sophie does that tongue thing after she's carried around a lizard- she hates the taste but can't help herself when it comes to stalking them.
That reminds me! I'm scrolling back to find peanut throw down! Cheers!

Floridacracker said...

Ha! Maybe I taste like termite or ant.

They are really neat to have around.

Entirely possible, as I have eaten many times my weight in fried chicken.

I'd rather have skinks running around my house than the Orkin Man.

I know. It's a shame. I should mail you one!

Heehee. That is probably closer to the truth!

They are great to have around. Dogs need stimulation.

Very fiesty for a small critter.

I always here from cat people that skinks are poisonous to cats.

Don't forget to stop and smell the reptiles.

That]s why I chose the Ahab quote. he just seemed so never say die-ish.

Your story sounds like mine. I have so many buckets around here. Glad you rescued that lizard.

Good! You earned Lizard angel points.

I asked for it I suppose.

LOL! Not the first time either.

Floridacracker said...

Wow! I never would have expected that in Minnesotarctica.

Heehee. Sophie and I both can't help ourselves. We have to grab critters. Hope you like the peanut dishes.

SophieMae said...

Mmmmm, finger... lickin' good. 8-]

W.R. said...

Best be careful. The way Mr. Skink was lickin' his chops after you put him down .... he may have developed a taste for FC's.

Floridacracker said...

LOL! Excellent. heehee ... that was KFC's best jingle and boy does it fit here.

Welcome to Pure Florida! You may be right, I'll have to watch my back when I'm out by the woodpile.

Sayre said...

I believe there is something - a neurotoxin maybe - in their skin secretions. I had one cat that caught one once and then spent the next day stumbling around in circles and falling down. He went to the emergency vet (it was Thanksgiving weekend - it's ALWAYS a holiday when they do that stuff) and was okay in a few days.

I guess it's good that my cats can't seem to catch them...