Plestiodon anthracinus - Baird, 1849 [or 1850]
Coal Skink
Other English Common Names: coal skink
Synonym(s): Eumeces anthracinus (Baird, 1849) [or 1850]
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eumeces anthracinus (Baird, 1850) (TSN 173962)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101505
Element Code: ARACH01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Lizards
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae Plestiodon
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B90COL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eumeces anthracinus
Taxonomic Comments: In a phylogenetic analysis of Eumeces based on morphology, Griffith et al. (2000) proposed splitting Eumeces into multiple genera, based on the apparent paraphyly of Eumeces. Smith (2005) and Brandley et al. (2005) formally proposed that all North American species (north of Mexico) be placed in the genus Plestiodon. This was accepted by Crother (2008) and Collins and Taggart (2009).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Aug2005
Global Status Last Changed: 28Oct1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3), Arkansas (S4), Florida (S3), Georgia (S2), Indiana (SNR), Kansas (S3), Kentucky (S2), Louisiana (S3), Maryland (S1), Mississippi (S3S4), Missouri (SNR), New York (S2S3), North Carolina (S2S3), Ohio (S1), Oklahoma (S3), Pennsylvania (S3), South Carolina (S1), Tennessee (S1), Texas (S4), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Bibb (01007)*, Blount (01009)*, Chilton (01021)*, Colbert (01033)*, Coosa (01037)*, Elmore (01051)*, Lamar (01075)*, Lawrence (01079)*, Marion (01093)*, Monroe (01099)*, Russell (01113)*, Shelby (01117)*, St. Clair (01115)*, Tuscaloosa (01125)*, Wilcox (01131)*
FL Bay (12005), Franklin (12037)*, Gulf (12045)*, Holmes (12059)*, Liberty (12077), Okaloosa (12091), Santa Rosa (12113), Walton (12131)
GA Chattahoochee (13053), Lumpkin (13187)*, Marion (13197), Pickens (13227), Rabun (13241), Sumter (13261)*, Talbot (13263), Union (13291), White (13311)*
KY Barren (21009)*, Bell (21013)*, Boyle (21021)*, Breathitt (21025)*, Calloway (21035), Clay (21051), Edmonson (21061), Garrard (21079), Greenup (21089), Harlan (21095)*, Knox (21121)*, Laurel (21125), Leslie (21131)*, Madison (21151), McCreary (21147), Powell (21197)*, Rockcastle (21203), Whitley (21235)
MD Garrett (24023)*
MS Forrest (28035)*, Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059)*, Lamar (28073)*, Leake (28079)*, Lincoln (28085)*, Newton (28101)*, Noxubee (28103)*, Oktibbeha (28105)*, Pearl River (28109)*, Prentiss (28117)*, Rankin (28121)*, Scott (28123)*, Simpson (28127)*, Tishomingo (28141)*
NC Avery (37011), Buncombe (37021)*, Caldwell (37027), Clay (37043)*, Graham (37075)*, Haywood (37087)*, Henderson (37089)*, Jackson (37099), Macon (37113), Polk (37149), Rutherford (37161), Swain (37173)*, Transylvania (37175)*, Wilkes (37193)
NY Cattaraugus (36009), Chemung (36015), Genesee (36037), Ontario (36069), Schuyler (36097), Seneca (36099), Tompkins (36109)
OH Vinton (39163)*
PA Adams (42001), Cameron (42023), Centre (42027), Clearfield (42033), Clinton (42035), Cumberland (42041)*, Elk (42047), Forest (42053), Franklin (42055), Huntingdon (42061), Lycoming (42081), McKean (42083), Potter (42105), Somerset (42111), Tioga (42117), Union (42119)*, Venango (42121), Warren (42123)
SC Greenville (45045)*, Pickens (45077)*
TN Benton (47005)*, Henderson (47077), Polk (47139)
WV Boone (54005), Greenbrier (54025)*, Hampshire (54027)*, Kanawha (54039)*, Logan (54045)*, Pendleton (54071), Pocahontas (54075)*, Putnam (54079)*, Raleigh (54081), Randolph (54083), Wyoming (54109)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+, Tioga (02050104)+, Chemung (02050105)+, Upper West Branch Susquehanna (02050201)+, Sinnemahoning (02050202)+, Middle West Branch Susquehanna (02050203)+, Pine (02050205)+, Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206)+*, Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301)+*, Upper Juniata (02050302)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+*, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+*, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+
03 Upper Yadkin (03040101)+, South Yadkin (03040102)+*, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+, Saluda (03050109)+*, Seneca (03060101)+, Tugaloo (03060102)+*, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Upper Chattahoochee (03130001)+*, Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F. George Reservoir (03130003)+, Kinchafoonee-Muckalee (03130007)+*, Apalachicola (03130011)+*, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Pensacola Bay (03140105)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Conasauga (03150101)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Middle Coosa (03150106)+*, Lower Coosa (03150107)+*, Cahaba (03150202)+*, Middle Alabama (03150203)+*, Lower Alabama (03150204)+*, Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+*, Buttahatchee (03160103)+*, Sipsey (03160107)+*, Noxubee (03160108)+*, Sipsey Fork (03160110)+*, Locust (03160111)+*, Upper Black Warrior (03160112)+*, Chunky-Okatibbee (03170001)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+*, Black (03170007)+*, Escatawpa (03170008)+*, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Upper Pearl (03180001)+*, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+*, Middle Pearl-Silver (03180003)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+*, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+*
04 Lower Genesee (04130003)+, Seneca (04140201)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+, Clarion (05010005)+, Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+, Cheat (05020004)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+*, Lower New (05050004)+, Upper Kanawha (05050006)+*, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*, Upper Guyandotte (05070101)+*, Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+*, Little Sandy (05090104)+, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+*, Middle Fork Kentucky (05100202)+*, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+, Upper Kentucky (05100204)+, Lower Kentucky (05100205)+, Upper Green (05110001)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, Rockcastle (05130102)+, Salt (05140102)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+*
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+*, Pigeon (06010106)+*, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Tuckasegee (06010203)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+*, Powell (06010206)+*, Hiwassee (06020002)+*, Ocoee (06020003)+, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Bear (06030006)+*, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Reproduction Comments: Mating ocurs in late winter and early spring in Georgia (Hotchkin et al. 2001). Lays clutch of about 6-11 eggs, April-June; eggs hatch in about 5 weeks; female attends eggs during incubation (Mount 1975, Collins 1982). In Georgia, sexually mature in 2 years, first reproduces at 30-32 months (Hotchkin et al. 2001).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: The habitat generally consists of humid wooded areas with abundant leaf litter and loose rocks; often the lizard occurs in the vicinity of springs, swamps, and bogs, but it also inhabits clearcuts, highway and powerline rights-of-way (Hulse et al. 2001), rocky bluffs above creek valleys, dry, rocky, south-facing hillsides (Johnson 2000), and dry shale barrens (West Virginia). Individuals often shelter under logs and rocks near water. Sometimes they take refuge in water. One nest was under a piece of shale (Mount 1975).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats small insects (Collins 1982) and other small invertebrates.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Active March-September in Kansas (Collins 1982), all year in Georgia (Hotchkin et al. 2001).
Length: 18 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Skinks

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that lizards rarely if ever cross successfully; major river, lake, pond, or deep marsh; densely urbanized area dominated by buildings and pavement (but note that suburban areas are suitable habitat for some skinks).
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Individual skinks generaly have small home ranges. In Kansas, home range diameter of Eumeces fasciatus was approximately 27 m in males, 9 m in females; individuals sometimes shifted home range after hibernation (Fitch 1954).

Fitch (1955) found that Eumeces obsoletus generally is rather sedentary in the short term; most live in home ranges not more than 30 m in diameter. Adult males are more mobile than females and juveniles. Sometimes individuals make longer movements of 100 m or more. Home range location is rather fluid. Individuals often live in one area for awhile, then shift to another area. Hall (1971) reported a maximum home range size of about 800 sq m.

According to Ashton and Ashton (1991), home range size of Scincella lateralis may be less than 20 sq m.

The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat attempts to reflect the limited home ranges of these lizards, their secretive habits and consequent apparent absence in areas where they do in fact occur, their tendency to occur throughout patches of suitable habitat, and the likely low probability that two locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent truly independent populations.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Aug2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • COLLINS, J.T. 1975. OBSERVATIONS ON REPRODUCTION IN THE SOUTHERN COAL SKINK (EUMECES ANTHRACINUS PLUVIALIS COPE). TRANS KS ACAD SCI, 77(2): 126-127.

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