Western Skink


Only the juvenile western skink has the distinctive bright blue tail.

The western skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus) is blue listed (at risk) in British Columbia. The tail is the most striking feature of this lizard: it is a bright cobalt blue in young skinks and 1.5 to 2.0 times the body length. The tail remains blue but fades with age.

Map

Biodiversity Interactive Map - Western Skink

Range

The range extends from south-central British Columbia to north-western Baja California, from the Pacific coast to western Montana, Idaho, eastern Utah, and north-central Arizona.

Inhabits open warm habitats in the southwest Kootenay region

Habitat

Inhabits dry open upland forests and grasslands. Western skinks need abundant plant cover, as well as rocks, logs, stumps, and bark for foraging and cover, sunny openings for basking, and south- facing slopes and rocks for nesting and hibernacula.

Reproduction

  • Mate in early spring
  • Lay an average of 2-6 eggs in July or August
  • Females guard eggs until they hatch

Listing and Date

Listing Date
B.C. List Blue
COSEWIC Special Concern May 2002
SARA S1

Threats to Species

The main threat is from loss of habitat via urban and agricultural development, forest ingrowth due to fire suppression, and possibly from recreational development.

Select Reports

Full Report Listing (most recent on top):

For more information on this species, visit The Species at Risk Public Registry  and/or The BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer where you should enter "western skink" in the species Name field.

 

SPECIES

Amphibians
Columbia Spotted Frog
Long-toed Salamander
Northern Leopard Frog
Western Toad

Birds
Common Nighthawk
Great Blue Heron
Harlequin Duck
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Northern Goshawk
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Vaux’s Swift
Western Screech Owl
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat

Fish
Bull Trout
White Sturgeon

Flora
Common Camas
Whitebark Pine

Mammals
Badger
Big Brown Bat
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Elk
Grizzly Bear
Selkirk Least Chipmunk
Moose
Mountain Caribou
Mountain Goat
Mule Deer
California Myotis
Fringed Myotis
Little Brown Myotis
Long-eared Myotis
Long-legged Myotis
Northern Myotis
Yuma Myotis
Silver-Haired Myotis
Townsend's Big-eared Bat
White-tailed Deer
Wolverine
Yellow-pine Chipmunk

Reptiles
Western Painted Turtle
Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Western Skink

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