Sunday, April 19, 2009

northern prairie skink

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We have a new addition to the list of Wildlife Known To Inhabit Sand Creek. Which is always good. Hooray for biodiversity!

Starflower and Mr. Attitude found this little lizard hanging out by the pond yesterday. The photo is larger than life; the red jasper stone in the upper right hand corner is about an inch long. I don't know how they managed to find something that small! But then again, these kids are no strangers to critters of all shapes and sizes around here. They thought it was a cross between a snake and a salamander at first.

I did not even think we had any lizard species around here. The northern prairie skink is one of the only, if not THE only, lizards found in Minnesota, and I think we're at the northern extreme of its range. But to see such a little one suggests that there are more, and they are reproducing.

Once again, the photo credit goes to Starflower. I have pretty much relinquished my Canon Powershot A520 to her, while I'm using the Kodak EasyShare Z740 more lately.


Pablo said...

That looks so fake! (/sarcasm)

Deb said...

Pablo- Yeah, and when I post about a meteor strike here you can guarantee it will be the real thing! ;)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

A fat Lake Superior and a blue-tailed skink…all in the same week. You wouldn't, by any chance, be glowing in the dark or sprouting wings. At the very least, I'd say the Serendipity Fairy has paid you a visit.

Lynne said...

COOL! I didn't think we had ANY lizards here in Minnesota. Tell your kids "Good find!!!"

Deb said...

Grizzled- I'm thinking I'm getting retribution for Tax Day and a little financial oops I made last week. Oh well, seeing skinks and hearing snipe and sandhill cranes and woodcock and ruffed grouse always puts things in perspective.

Lynne- I didn't think that either! The Hermit even thought it was a salamander at first...but this picture shows the scales so clearly! I hope I see more of them on our beach this year.

RuthieJ said...

What a neat little lizard. I would love to find a critter like that someday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, that skink is quite a
find so early. They usually
don't appear until early May.
The N. Prairie Skink ranges over
most of MN south and west of a
line drawn from Duluth to Lake-
of-the-Woods, and appear to be
absent from the SE most
counties (Goodhue south & east).
This is one of three lizards to
be found in MN; the other two
are: Five-lined Skink and Six-
lined Racerunner. Check out:
Amphibians & Reptiles Native to
Minnesota by Oldfield & Moriarty
(1994) and Reptiles & Amphibians
of Minnesota by WJ Breckenridge
(1944). A couple of good books
for the outdoor lover's shelves.
Starflower got a good one there!

Hap in New Hope

Lené Gary said...

what a beauty that skink is! :)

Deb said...

RuthieJ- I'll bet you have more of them in your area.

Hap- Thanks for the info!

Lene- I love the blue tail.