These pictures are of 2 red-headed (with greyish bodies) lizards that our Grand-Doggie found in north Florida when we were visiting our oldest daughter recently. When Sadie Belle finds something she is not familiar with, she will not hush until you go to see what it is she's found.
We believe the lizards were "courting", so they were easy to catch together long enough to take several photographs before we set them free to go on their "merry way." They had lovely sleek bodies which almost looked like scales, but were not scales at all. Pretty and shiny, and most definitely red-heads.
None of us had ever seen this type of lizard before. They are very interesting.
Editor's Note: If anyone can identify these lizards, please let us know in the feedback.
Broad-headed Skinks. Very common in the southeastern US.
There was an excellent program on skink ancestors at last week's Gray Fossil Site Symposium presented by Jim Mead and Blaine Schubert. Research suggests that the skink fossils found at the Gray Fossil Site may be of the same genus as the Broad-headed skinks you photographed.
I live in central FL and I haven't seen this color lizard yet. Some lizards can make pets very sick. I'm not sure if this is one of them. Cats and dogs will eat them sometimes. I have seen my cat with a lizard in her mouth. She stays on my front porch, but there are many lizards here. They eat bugs, so we consider them friends.
Thank you Readingiggits.
You'd think I'd have seen them before since I've lived in Florida for all my 75+ years except for very short periods in other states (GA, NC and MI). Even more interesting now that we have your information about them. I think we have about every other type of lizard in Florida with the immigration of the wild iguanas which are all around us here in south Florida as well as the beautiful Cuban Anoles which are the prettiest shade of green, and look very much like the iguanas in size and body type.
We've seen the common small green chameleons, and the brownish ones which have an almost knobby -like skin resulting in the old folks calling them "Rusty Bobs". This red-headed dude is brand new to me...so I looked up all the information I could find about "skinks". They are definitely Broadheaded Skinks, but contrary to what we interpreted as acts of "Courtship", I think now they were 2 males fighting. Nowhere did anything I read mention a female having a red head...only the male, and only when agitated. So, I'm pretty certain now that they had to be both males in a highly agitated state as they would certainly have been if in the middle of a big fight.
We've never seen the Gray Fossil Site Symposium, but I'm going to find out more about that since we enjoy Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel. Anything about Nature and Animals. The new Nature Series on the Discovery Channel narrated by Oprah Winfrey is one of the best we've ever seen.
Thank you so much. Julia in Boca Raton, FL
They are very pretty. I bet they are both males.
Most definitely, these are Broadheaded Skinks and they are often
found in the Carolinas. Great pics of them too.
Thanks for taking the time to share.
I think they were just embarrassed that they got caught. ;)
I've lived in Florida off and on a few times in my life, but I've never run across anything that looks even remotely like these two. Since you've determined they are both males, it makes sense they were probably fighting over a female who
was off lurking on the sidelines somewhere watching.
Too bad you didn't capture her as well just long enough to get her picture too. That would have really taken the cake. You might try submitting the photos to National Geographic or a Nature magazine. They are really very good.
Thanks for sharing them here.
Very striking with those red heads. I've never seen
anything like them before. I think I would have
been afraid to do anything with them. I'm not
really afraid of the small green chameleons, but
these things look kinda fierce.
Interesting, I must admit.
"Eumeces laticeps" is the formal name for this species. I too find that it is the broad headed skink. I love to try and check, and double check things, rather than just parrot what I heard someone say, or think it is because I saw one once. They do appear to be in full arousal, so it is good that they were returned to "work things out".
I caught one that looks just like that. I saw my cat with it and took it from him. The red heads are male, and I think females have blue heads.
Just wanted to let you know that the two Broadheaded Skinks you have captured are both males. The females do not have the red face. Instead of breaking up a courtship as you thought, you most likely interrupted either a territory or mate dispute :) and I am very glad to hear that you turned them free after taking the photos. I have uploaded a male and female together which I took.
We found some lizards like that in Indiana.
I have a large male in the back yard in northern KY. It is good to know what it is.
I have been in NW Florida for almost three years. I have a male and female living under a cement block in a rock garden right outside my front door. They have been here for at least two years. I see them mostly in the spring.
Having lived in South Louisiana my entire childhood, I remember these skinks well. I would see one of them for maybe every 10 of the little green chameleons. They were at least 2x the size of them and/or the striped blue tailed ones, sometimes 3x the size.
When I was 10 or so, we hit one with the lawn mower, breaking his back near the base of the tail. We kept him as a pet, feeding him by hand with captured insects and turned an old fishtank into a habitat, heat lamp and all. He lived for several months, still mobile with his front limbs. He loved to be handled, as he was for the most part- went everywhere my mother went... even shopping! She loved that thing, and the feeling was mutual because he hardly ever turned red about the head. Broad Headed Skink, that's what we always identified him as.
nose to tail tip about 10 in. long.
My cat had one in his mouth - I coaxed the cat to let it go.... and the lizard did not move. I went inside for a few minutes and went back to ck on it and it was still in the same place - did not see any visible injuries. Then I saw it take a deep breath. I got a stick and sort of pushed his back legs and he moved a little - I kept pushing him along to get under some brush and he did. Hope he's not a fatality. Nature is awesome, so I half suspect he will survive. Hope so! He was beautiful.
Forgot to list my location - Baton Rouge, Louisiana, heart of the city. Wonder how this lizard made it's way to town (just posted that my cat had one in his mouth).
I just saw one of these jump out the bushes on my front porch. I'm in Rockyford GA. Is it poisonous? I have 3 small children plus I babysit 3 small children.