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Wildlife: Redheaded Lizards (Broad-Headed Skinks)

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.

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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.

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By Julia (Pookarina)

Editor's Note: If anyone can identify these lizards, please let us know in the feedback.

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April 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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April 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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April 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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Thank you so much. Julia in Boca Raton, FL

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April 29, 20101 found this helpful

They are very pretty. I bet they are both males.

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April 30, 20100 found this helpful

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.
MisMachado

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May 1, 20100 found this helpful

I think they were just embarrassed that they got caught. ;)

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May 2, 20100 found this helpful

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

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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.
Lee

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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

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.
Songwriter

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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

"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".

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May 16, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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February 14, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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April 29, 20120 found this helpful

We found some lizards like that in Indiana.

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May 2, 20170 found this helpful

I have seen one in my yard in South Carolina do they stay around usually?

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May 11, 20170 found this helpful

I had about an 8" one on my back porch a couple of weeks ago - just came on here to see what kind of lizard he was. We have a lot of woods around our house, but I've never seen any lizards here or at my old place, where I lived for 15 years, except little chameleons/gekkos. I'm pretty sure he had landed on the porch after being dropped by a bird - we see a hawk a lot, there's a neighborhood owl, and lately, a crow has begun using the birdbath to soak hard food in! - though previously the only half-eaten prey I have found around there this spring were a huge shrimp and a pretty big frog. One of his arms looked mangled, sort of stuck underneath him, and I had a helluva time getting him to a safer spot. My point is, I kind of hope I *don't* see him again, because I'm hoping he found his way home and not into his predator's beak again!

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May 16, 20170 found this helpful

I have one on my back porch ... he rolls on his back and squirms around ... strange behavior huh??? Illinois

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May 19, 20170 found this helpful

I JUST SAW ONE IN MY YARD IN MAYS LANDING NEW JERSEY.NEVER SAW ONE THIS FAR NORTH BERFORE.

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May 29, 20130 found this helpful

I have a large male in the back yard in northern KY. It is good to know what it is.

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June 30, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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April 8, 20151 found this helpful

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.

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May 3, 20170 found this helpful

I have to say that THIS turned out to be such a cute story. Never seen one of these guys going shopping I must say....
We live in Florida and we have several of these cuties around our property. I love watching them.
Thanks for sharing :)

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May 10, 20170 found this helpful

I live in Bay Springs, MS. I recently came upon one of these and had never seen such a thing like this one. I was alarmed at first glance because I thought it was a snake since all I could see in that moment at first glance was it's head. It finally decided to take off running and I saw it's body. Wow. Interesting. So I google red headed lizards and it popped up.

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Anonymous
May 30, 20170 found this helpful

the one i saw was aprox 10 6r 12 inchs long very bright red hrad seemed liketripes and blue tail i live in arkansas harrisbreak lake erea

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful

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).

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April 21, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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May 10, 20170 found this helpful

No, not poisonous at all.

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April 30, 20151 found this helpful

Spotted this guy in Orlando, FL.

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Anonymous
April 20, 20160 found this helpful

I just found one on my back porch. I live in Jacksonville fl. He was very cool and not scared of me. He just sat there for a few minutes then went back in the woods

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June 28, 20160 found this helpful

I saw that lizard on my porch at the my apartments

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February 25, 20170 found this helpful

These are Redheaded Skinks. I believe these are both males. I have one just like this, and also a female. However, she is smaller & her colors and appearance is different. Both are from South Carolina ive had them both for 6 1/2 years :)

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Anonymous
May 5, 20170 found this helpful

cool

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May 7, 20170 found this helpful

I hate these Broad headed Skinks and they inhabit my yard! I am seeking advice on how to erricidate them! I see people mentioning handling them but these little suckers have teeth and I personally would not pick one up. How can I get them to leave my yard???

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May 7, 20171 found this helpful

I'm in Nashville Tn.and I have had several of them in my house .my husband leaves the screen door open when he's working in the yard so cats can go in and out on their own.first one was about 3 weeks ago .my older cat got its tail .brought the tail to my husband she was so proud .I found the other part of him still alive behind trash can .got a box use a stick got him in it .took outside released in out creek .2 and one was by the door cat tried to get it but I scooted him out. And 3 rd was tonight .my 2 cats have a big blanket under the pool table in my husbands man cave .I got home tonight and the blankets were all over the place .I asked my husband what the hevk the cats were doing all day he said they were all over the place...so I got down on my knees to fix blanket and there was one under the blanket .scared the crap out of me ...but I thought it was dead .cause I was moving the blankets for a couple minutes trying yo straighten them out and it just stayed in the same place...they look scary with the red head ...but they are real mello.slow motion.they are in no hurry...lol..but are the poisonous to cats ?...

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May 10, 20171 found this helpful

I know this is an old post but i thought id add that they are in Southern MO as well. I thought it was only the males whos heads turn red? Anyways they breed in the trees around my sisters house. The little babies are black with blue tails and yellow stripes. Not poisonus or harmful. They are active during the day and mate in the spring, when the males necks swell big red.

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A broad-headed skink among some plants outside.
Redheaded Lizards (Broad-Headed Skinks) Information and Photos
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