I recently wrote a blog post about a “Skink Covered In Wet Sawdust“. In that post, I mentioned that I have a special place I go to photograph skinks at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I was back at that location and was able to get some great photos of a pair of skinks.

Skink Duo

Skink Duo

I believe these two skinks are five-lined skinks. Five-lined skinks are small, slender lizards that are common in North America. They are named for the five dark stripes that run down their backs. Five-lined skinks are also known for their blue tails, which the young lose as they grow older.

Broad-headed skinks are similar to five-lined skinks, but they are larger and have five labial scales (scales on the upper lip) instead of four. Broad-headed skinks are also more aggressive than five-lined skinks.

Here are some tips for telling the difference between five-lined skinks and broad-headed skinks:

  • Size: Five-lined skinks are typically 4-6 inches long, while broad-headed skinks can grow up to 8 inches long.
  • Number of labial scales: Five-lined skinks have four labial scales, while broad-headed skinks have five.
  • Aggressiveness: Five-lined skinks are generally docile, while broad-headed skinks can be aggressive.
  • Blue tail: Juvenile five-lined skinks have blue tails, which they lose as they grow older. Broad-headed skinks do not have blue tails.

If you are ever unsure about which type of skink you are looking at, it is best to consult with a herpetologist.


In East Oklahoma, you can find a variety of skinks, including the Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) and the Broad-Headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps). These two species are among the most commonly encountered skinks in the region. Other skink species that may be found in East Oklahoma include the Prairie Skink (Plestiodon septentrionalis) and the Coal Skink (Plestiodon anthracinus). These skinks are native to the area and contribute to the rich biodiversity of Oklahoma’s wildlife.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about five-lined skinks and broad-headed skinks. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: May 23, 2023 (08:27 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 640 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.3
  • Focal Length: 400 mm