Reptiles and Amphibians
The common five-lined skink is one of Missouri's most abundant skinks. Adults are olive or tan with lengthwise stripes. It is often called the blue-tailed skink for the coloration of juveniles. Occurs nearly statewide.
The broad-headed skink is a large, smooth-scaled lizard that lives in the southern two-thirds of Missouri. It is frequently confused with the common five-lined skink, which is smaller.
About Reptiles and Amphibians in Missouri
Missouri’s herptiles comprise 43 amphibians and 75 reptiles. Amphibians, including salamanders, toads, and frogs, are vertebrate animals that spend at least part of their life cycle in water. They usually have moist skin, lack scales or claws, and are ectothermal (cold-blooded), so they do not produce their own body heat the way birds and mammals do. Reptiles, including turtles, lizards, and snakes, are also vertebrates, and most are ectothermal, but unlike amphibians, reptiles have dry skin with scales, the ones with legs have claws, and they do not have to live part of their lives in water.