As a Wildlife Photographer, I can attest that capturing the beauty of the juvenile Five-lined Skink is no easy feat. These elusive creatures are common in the Ouachita National Forest area in Arkansas but getting close to them is a challenge. Unlike the Prairie Lizards or Green Anloes that may be more approachable, the skinks will quickly dart away at the slightest hint of human presence.
The juvenile Five-lined Skink is identifiable by its bright blue tail, which stands out in contrast to its brownish-gray body. While this characteristic makes them easy to spot, it also serves as a defense mechanism. When threatened, the skink can detach its tail to distract predators and escape. The tail will eventually grow back, but the new one may not be as bright blue as the original.
It’s worth noting that identifying the Five-lined Skink can be tricky, as it closely resembles other skink species found in Arkansas. A closer examination of the scales may be necessary to confirm its identification. The Five-lined Skink has specific features such as 2 postmental scales, 2 postlabial scales, and 7 upper labial scales. The 5th scale from the snout is in contact with the eye orbit, and a postnasal scale is present. As a juvenile, it may also be referred to as a Blue-tailed Skink or a Red-headed Skink.
To get the shot I was hand-holding a Fujifilm X-T3 Camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro.
The juvenile Five-lined Skink is a fascinating creature that is prevalent in the Ouachita National Forest area in Arkansas. Its bright blue tail and elusive nature make it a challenging subject to photograph, but with patience and skill, it’s possible to capture its beauty.
- AV Mode
- Aperture: f8
- ISO: 1600
- Shutter speed: 1/850 of a second
- .03 exposure value
- Focal Length: 400 mm
Here are three Prairie Lizards I photographed this year: