During my recent wildlife photography trip to the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas, I was lucky enough to witness and photograph a rare sight: a mating pair of Five-lined Skinks. This was a first for me, and I was thrilled to capture this fascinating behavior on camera.

Mating Five-lined Skinks
Mating Five-lined Skinks

As I approached one of my storage buildings, I noticed movement on the steps. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was a male and female Five-lined Skink in the midst of their mating ritual. The male was perched on top of the female, clasping her tightly with his powerful legs.

Five-lined Skinks are common in many parts of the eastern United States, but they are not often seen mating in the wild.

During the mating process, the male Five-lined Skink will grasp the female tightly with his legs, positioning himself on top of her back. The male will then use his tail to lift the female’s tail, allowing him to position his cloaca (reproductive organ) against hers. This can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Interestingly, as I was photographing the Five-lined Skinks mating, I noticed that the male had a tick near his front leg. While ticks are a common parasite for many species of wildlife, it was interesting to see one so close up on this particular male Skink. It was a reminder of the many challenges that wild animals face in their daily lives.

In conclusion, photographing a mating pair of Five-lined Skinks was a thrilling experience for me. It was a rare opportunity to witness a fascinating behavior in the wild and capture it on camera. I hope that my photographs will help raise awareness about the beauty and complexity of these reptiles, as well as the challenges that they face in their natural habitat

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM


  • Location: Arkansas
  • Date and Time Taken: May 7, 2015 (04:58 P. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: AV
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 640
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

Here are a few more photos of Five-lined Skinks I have photographed: Juvenile Five-lined Skink On Log and Juvenile Five-lined Skink