Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Lizards (Order Squamata)

Sub-order Lacertilia, Family Scincidae

Little Brown Skink
Scincella lateralis

Little Brown Skink Adult photo by John Kazyak
Little Brown Skink Adult photo courtesy of John Kazyak

Size

3 - 5 inches.

Appearance

  • A golden to dark brown back with an even darker brown stripe running the length of the body along the sides.

  • Scales so small that it appears (and feels) smooth and scaleless.

  • Belly light.


  • Little Brown Skink Adult photo courtesy of John Kazyak

    Little Brown Skink Adult photo by Matt Close
    Little Brown Skink Adult photo by Matt Close

    Habitats:

    Primarily in pine and hardwood forests where they are found on the forest floor among and under rotting logs and leaf litter. They prefer moist places, frequently occurring near streams. Occasionally found in fields and lawns. They seldom climb.

    How to Find:

    A very wary and nervous skink, they will hide under the nearest coarse woody debris and leaf litter when disturbed. Lift logs and debris to find. They will make serpentine lateral movements to escape, and will even enter shallow water when fleeing.

    Little Brown Skink Habitat photo by Rebecca Chalmers
    Little Brown Skink Habitat photo courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

    Distribution in Maryland

    Can be found in forests of the Coastal Plain of southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

    Maryland Distribution map for Little Brown Skink

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    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.