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Wildlife Great Plains Skink Page


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 Great Plains Skink
 Eumeces obsoletus

Habitat: Habitat in southeastern Colorado includes rocky slopes and outcrops, canyon bottoms, floodplains of streams, and areas along irrigation ditches in prairie and semiwooded regions, usually in sites near water.

Food and Predators: This lizard feeds opportunistically on various invertebrates (e.g., beetles, bugs, roaches, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, lepidopteran caterpillars and adults, ants, snails, slugs, spiders) and occasionally lizards.

Various snakes, hawks, carnivorous mammals, other predators occasionally capture and eat these lizards (Fitch 1955; Hall 1971). Degenhardt, Painter, and Price (1996) reported that domestic cats may be serious predators in some urbanized areas of New Mexico.

Recognition: Dorsal scales smooth, shiny, tightly overlapping, with rounded rear edge; scales along sides of body in oblique (diagonal) rows; tail no more than 1.5 times as long as head and body; most adults with relatively short, regenerated tails. Adult: dorsal scales pale with dark edges forming stripes or irregular pattern; males and females difficult to distinguish; sides of head of adult males slightly enlarged during breeding season; reddish marks on lips of some adults (probably males) during breeding season.

Distribution: Nebraska and southwestern Iowa south through eastern Colorado, Kansas, western Missouri, western Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and central and southwestern Arizona to north-central and northeastern Mexico. Occurs mainly south of the Arkansas River and along the south portion of Big Sandy Creek at elevations below 7,200 feet (1,890 m) in southeastern Colorado and in the Republican River drainage in northeastern Colorado at elevations below 4,500 feet (1,370 m).


Status: This species is not listed.


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