6 native species and 1 introduced/naturalized
Unlike snakes, lizards have moveable eyelids, an external ear opening,
two well-developed lungs, and a lower jaw that is fused, restricting the
gape and limiting the size of prey that can be swallowed (Mitchell 1994).
Although legless forms do exist, all species of lizards found in Maryland
There are seven species of lizards that have been reported to occur in
Maryland. A total of four species are in the skink family (Scincidae);
including the broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps), common
five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus), coal skink (Plestiodon
anthracinus anthracinus), and little brown skink (Scincella lateralis).
An additional species, the southeastern five-line skink is known from only
one museum specimen. Lacking confirmation, it is unlikely this species is a
natural part of the Maryland herpetofauna. As a group, the skinks are
characterized by smooth, flat scales that make the lizard look shiny. They
also have small, flat bones (osteoderms) under each of the scales on the
head, body, and tail. The legs are relatively short for lizards. There are three other families of lizards that have been found in Maryland, and they are
each represented by one species. The whiptails (Family Teiidae) are represented by the six-lined racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata), the spiny lizards (Family Phrynosomatidae) are represented by the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporous undulatus), and the geckos (Family Gekkonidae) are represented by the introduced Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus).
Coal Skink (Plestiodon anthracinus)
Former name: Northern Coal Skink
Photo courtesy of Bill Hubick.
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis MD 21401
Call toll-free in *Maryland* at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)