Scincella lateralis - (Say in James, 1823)
Little Brown Skink
Other English Common Names: Ground Skink, little brown skink
Synonym(s): Leiolopisma laterale ;Lygosoma laterale
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Scincella lateralis (Say in James, 1823) (TSN 174008)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105035
Element Code: ARACH03010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Lizards
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae Scincella
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ 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: Scincella lateralis
Taxonomic Comments: In older literature, this species was referred to as Lygosoma laterale or Leiolopisma laterale.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Aug2005
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 (S5), Arkansas (S5), Delaware (S1), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (S5), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (S5), New Jersey (S3), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (S4), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S2)

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 large range extends from New Jersey to southern Florida, west to Kansas, Texas, and northeastern Mexico, north to southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and southern Ohio, and south to the Gulf Coast (Brooks 1975, Conant and Collins 1991).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by thousands of occurrences or subpopulations.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000 and likely exceeds 1,000,000. This is a very common lizard in many areas.

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

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats have been identified.

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 likely 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 large range extends from New Jersey to southern Florida, west to Kansas, Texas, and northeastern Mexico, north to southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and southern Ohio, and south to the Gulf Coast (Brooks 1975, 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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, 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)
DE Kent (10001), Sussex (10005)
OH Adams (39001), Scioto (39145), Vinton (39163)*
WV Boone (54005)*, Cabell (54011), Hardy (54031)*, Kanawha (54039)*, Lincoln (54043), Wayne (54099)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Choptank (02060005)+, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+*, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+
05 Coal (05050009)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+*, Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+, Tug (05070201)+*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+*, Twelvepole (05090102)+*, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Lays up to about 5 clutches of 1-7 eggs, March-August (fewer clutches in north). Eggs hatch in 1-2 months. Female does not stay with eggs after laying. Sexually mature in 1st year (Fitch 1970).
Ecology Comments: Home range may be less than 20 sq m (Ashton and Ashton 1991).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: This species occurs in a wide variety of habitats; generally it occurs in areas with ground cover (grass, leaf litter, forest floor debris, rocks, etc.), including dry upland woodlands as well as stream and pond edges (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999); often it can be found under ground surface cover. It goes underground in cold weather and may seek cover in water when pursued. Eggs are laid in moist humus, logs, rotting vegetation, or under rocks (Ashton and Ashton 1985, Minton 1972).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly insects; also spiders, worms, and other arthropods (Barbour 1971).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Active March-October in north (Collins 1982), all year in Florida (Ashton and Ashton 1985). Mostly diurnal but sometimes active at night (Collins 1982).
Length: 13 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Management Requirements: Burning should be done in winter or early spring; hot, summer burns seem to be detrimental.
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: 28Aug2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Aug2005
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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  • Barbour, R. W. 1971. Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky. Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington. x + 334 pp.

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

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