Plestiodon inexpectatus - (Taylor, 1932)
Southeastern Five-lined Skink
Other English Common Names: southeastern five-lined skink
Synonym(s): Eumeces inexpectatus Taylor, 1932
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eumeces inexpectatus Taylor, 1932 (TSN 173960)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105537
Element Code: ARACH01070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Lizards
Image 11569

© Larry Master

 
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 inexpectatus
Taxonomic Comments: See Murphy et al. (1983) for information on the relationships among E. inexpectatus, E. fasciatus, and E. laticeps. 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: 26Aug2005
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), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Kentucky (S3), Louisiana (S4), Maryland (S4), Mississippi (S5), North Carolina (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The geographic range extends from southern Maryland to the Florida Keys, and west to Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana (Conant and Collins 1991).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences or subpopulations. Steiner (1986) mapped perhaps 150-200 collection sites throughout the range whereas Palmer and Braswell (1995) mapped hundreds of collection sites in North Carolina alone. This secretive lizard undoubtedly occurs in many more sites than are currently known.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 100,000. It is common to abundant over most of its range (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats have been identified. The species tolerates moderate habitat alteration (logging, partial clearing). Frequent burning can be detrimental.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are large and probably relatively stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) The geographic range extends from southern Maryland to the Florida Keys, and west to Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana (Conant and Collins 1991).

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, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA

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)
KY Barren (21009), Bell (21013)*, Edmonson (21061), Hart (21099)*, Laurel (21125), Lyon (21143)*, McCreary (21147), Pulaski (21199), Trigg (21221), Whitley (21235)
TN Anderson (47001)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Green (05110001)+*, Barren (05110002)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, Rockcastle (05130102)+*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+
06 Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid in late May-early June in South Carolina. Clutches of 6-11 eggs have been found. Eggs hatch mid-July to mid-August in South Carolina. Female attends eggs until hatching. Sexually mature in second year. See Fitch (1970), Mount (1975), and Vitt and Cooper (1986).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: The habitat of this terrestrial and arboreal species includes various situations such as wet pine flatwoods, cutover woodlots, cypress heads, scrub and sandhill (high pine) habitats, ridgetops, well-drained sandy places, seashore islands, and abandoned buildings. These skinks often are under or in ground litter, logs, piles of wood, or stumps, which appear to be important elements of the habitat (Mushinsky 1992, Anderson and Tiebout 1993). Eggs are laid in logs or stumps or under rocks or other cover.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats arthropods and possibly other invertebrates (Mount 1975).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: In Florida, adult males were trapped most often in March and April, adult females most often from late June to mid-July (after nesting and hatching of young); juveniles were active into October (Mushinsky 1992).
Length: 22 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Management Requirements: In Florida, sandhill plots protected from fire for about two decades or burned on 5- or 7-year cycles supported more individuals than did plots burned on either 1- or 2-year cycles (Mushinsky 1992).
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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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Aug2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Aug2005
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
Help
  • Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. 2005. Conserving Alabama's wildlife: a comprehensive strategy. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Montgomery, Alabama. 303 pages. [Available online at http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/research-mgmt/cwcs/outline.cfm ]

  • Anderson, R. A., and H. M. Tiebout, III. 1993. The effects of timber management practices on the lizards of xeric pineland habitats: an investigation of the Florida sand pine scrub. Final report to The Nature Conservancy.

  • Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1985. Handbook of reptiles and amphibians of Florida. Part two. Lizards, turtles & crocodilians. Windward Pub., Inc., Miami. 191 pp.

  • Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999b. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xvi + 278 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Brandley, M. C., A. Schmitz, and T. W. Reeder. 2005. Partitioned Bayesian analyses, partition choice, and the phylogenetic relationships of scincid lizards. Systematic Biology 54:373-390.

  • Cliburn, J.W. 1976. A key to the amphibians and reptiles of Mississippi. Fourth edition. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, Mississippi. 71 pp.

  • 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.

  • Collins, J. T., and T. W. Taggart. 2009. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians, turtles, reptiles, and crocodilians. Sixth edition. The Center for North American Herpetology, Lawrance, Kansas. iv + 44 pp.

  • Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xvii + 429 pp.

  • Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 450 pp.

  • Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 616 pp.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84. Online with updates at: http://www.ssarherps.org/pages/comm_names/Index.php

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2012. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. 7th edition. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92.

  • Dundee, H.E., and D.A. Rossman. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 300 pp.

  • Fitch, H. S. 1970. Reproductive cycles of lizards and snakes. Univ. Kansas Museum Natural History Miscellaneous Publication 52:1-247.

  • Griffith, H., A. Ngo, and R. W. Murphy. 2000. A cladistic evaluation of the cosmopolitan genus Eumeces Wiegmann (Reptilia, Squamata, Scincidae). Russian Journal of Herpetology 7(1):1-16.

  • Huheey, J.E. and Stupka, A. 1967. Amphibians and Reptiles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  • Lohoefener, R. and R. Altig. 1983. Mississippi herpetology. Mississippi State University Research Center, NSTL Station, Mississippi. 66 pp.

  • Mirarchi, R. E., M. A. Bailey, T. M. Haggerty, and T. L. Best, editors. 2004. Alabama wildlife. Volume 3. Imperiled amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 225 pages.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

  • Mount, R.H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University, Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn. 347 pp.

  • Murphy, R. W., W. E. Cooper, Jr., and W. S. Richardson. 1983. Phylogenetic relationships of the North American five-lined skinks, genus Eumeces (Sauria: Scincidae). Herpetologica 39:200-211.

  • Mushinsky, H. R. 1992. Natural history and abundance of southeastern five-lined skinks, Eumeces inexpectatus, on a periodically burned sandhill in Florida. Herpetologica 48:307-312.

  • Palmer, W. M., and A. L. Braswell. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

  • REED, C.F. 1956. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HERPETOLOGY OF MARYLAND AND DELMARVA, 2. THE HERPETOFAUNA OF HARFORD COUNTY, MARYLAND. J. WASH. ACAD. SCI. 46(2):58-60.

  • REED, C.F. 1956. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HERPETOLOGY OF MARYLAND AND DELMARVA, 6. AN ANNOTATED CHECK LIST OF THE LIZARDS OF MARYLAND AND DELMARVA. PUBL. BY AUTHOR.

  • REED, C.F. 1956. NORTHERN EXTENSION OF KNOWN RANGE OF THE FLORIDA FIVE-LINED SKINK IN VIRGINIA. HERPETOLOGICA 12, P. 136.

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  • Steiner, T.M. 1986. Eumeces inexpectatus. Cat. Am. Amph. Rep. 385.1-385.2.

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