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Skinks are lizards belonging to the family Scincidae and the infraorder Scincomorpha. With more than 1,500 described species, the Scincidae are one of the most diverse families of lizards.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Superfamily: Scincoidea
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Subfamilies: Acontinae


Skinks, (Family Scasset), about 1,275 species, lizards, mostly secret landed residents or Barbies, which are the most widely represented in the whole world, but especially in Southeast Asia and its associated islands, the body of Australia’s desert and temperate North America skins especially the cross Sections have cylindrical, and most species have cone-shaped headings and long, tapping tails Sector. Most species, the retripe-tailed Skinks (Karusia Zebraata) is about 76 cm. (30 inches), but most of the species reach 20 cm. (8 inches) long. Ground-dwelling and dismissal skinks may show such adaptations as a transparent “window” scale rather than a vague lower eyelid.


The Skink tends to spend a great deal of time in the trees. In fact, they will live their entire lives there if possible. They may go to the ground though if they are struggling to find shelter or food. However, there are also sub species that burrow for protection rather than spending their time in the trees. They tend to be very timid and they do well in captivity.


Little is known about the breeding habits of the Florida Keys mole skink. Females utilize an underground nest where they lay 3 to 5 eggs between April and June. Females stay with the eggs until they hatch, between 31-51 days after being laid.

Life cycle

Mole skinks reach maturity at one year, but the full life span of this skink is not scientifically known.


Florida Keys mole skinks primarily consume small arthropods such as roaches, spiders and crickets.


Skinks are generally carnivorous and in particular insectivorous. Typical prey include flies, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. Various species also eat earthworms, millipedes, snails, slugs, isopods, moths, other lizards, and small rodents. Some species, particularly those favored as home pets, have more varied diets and can be maintained on a regimen of roughly 60% vegetables/leaves/fruit and 40% meat.


As a family, skinks are cosmopolitan; species occur in a variety of habitats worldwide, apart from boreal and polar regions. Various species occur in ecosystems ranging from deserts and mountains to grasslands.

Many species are good burrowers. More species are terrestrial or fossorial (burrowing) than arboreal (tree-climbing) or aquatic species. Some are “sand swimmers”, especially the desert species, such as the mole skink or sand skink in Florida. Some use a very similar action in moving through grass tussocks. Most skinks are diurnal (day-active) and typically bask on rocks or logs during the day.


  • Skinks are often confused with snakes, because they have very short neck, small legs and snake-like body motion.
  • Color of the skink body resembles the color of their environment. They can easily blend in the environment and hide from the predators if they remain motionless.
  • Due to small size, skinks have a lot of natural enemies. Main predators of skinks are: cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, snakes, large lizards, birds of prey…
  • Skinks can survive in different climates by living various lifestyles. Most species are arboreal (spend their life in trees), some of them are terrestrial (spend their life on the ground) or aquatic (spend their life near or in the water).
  • Since they are cold-blooded animals, skinks enjoy basking on the rocks during the day.

Skink images

Image by Avinash Joshi from Pixabay

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