Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Neoseps reynoldsi
Species Authority: Stejneger, 1910
Common Name(s):
English Florida Sand Skink, Sand Skink
Eumeces reynoldsi (Stejneger, 1910)
Plestiodon reynoldsi (Stejneger, 1910)
Taxonomic Notes: Proposed taxonomic revisions would place this species and other North American skinks in the genus Plestiodon (Brandley et al. 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Vulnerable because the extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 20,000 km², the area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km², the remaining subpopulations are judged to be severely fragmented, and there is an ongoing decline in the area, extent, and quality of habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The range is restricted to central Florida, in the southeastern United States, where the species is locally abundant on high sandy ridges of Lake, Marion, Orange, Polk, Highlands, and Osceola counties (Christman 1992). Formerly this skink was more widespread throughout the Lake Wales Ridge region. It is most common on the Lake Wales and Winter Haven ridges in Highlands, Polk, and Lake counties; uncommon on the Mount Dora Ridge, including sites within the Ocala National Forest (see USFWS 1998).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Florida)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species occurs in more than 40 scrub sites, but most are small remnants of once larger tracts of suitable habitat. As of 1997, there were 114 "locality records" (USFWS 1998). The total adult population size is unknown but surely must exceed a few thousand. These lizards can be locally common in suitable habitat (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). The area of occupancy and number of occurrences or subpopulations have been considerably reduced by habitat destruction, with further decreases expected. According to some estimates, 60 to 90% of the scrub ecosystem already has been lost (see USFWS 1998). USFWS (1990) categorized the status as "declining." Further decreases in available habitat are expected, but reliable data on trends are lacking (USFWS 1998).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs only on Florida's central ridges, at elevations of 27 m or more, in St. Lucie fine and Lakeland yellow sands. It inhabits loose sands of sand pine-rosemary scrub, less often longleaf pine-turkey oak (sandhill) or turkey oak "barrens" adjacent to scrub, especially high pine-scrub ecotones (Telford, cited in USFWS 1998). Sometimes this lizard occurs in areas with dense undergrowth and extensive canopy closure (Mushinsky, cited in USFWS 1998). It is basically fossorial (usually within 8 cm of surface) but sometimes can be found under logs, leaf litter, and other surface debris (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). Well-drained sands in open glades free of rooted plants are optimal, whereas dry, porous sands are unfavourable; moisture under leaf litter is important in regulation of body temperature and for successful egg incubation. Eggs are laid in the sand or under logs or other cover.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by habitat destruction for commercial and residential development, agricultural (citrus) development (USFWS 1987), and phosphate mining. Conversion of habitat to citrus production is the primary threat (P. Moler pers. comm. 1995). Habitat degradation due to fire exclusion is another threat (USFWS 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is known to occur in the following managed areas: Archbold Biological Station, Hendry Ranch, Ocala National Forest, Tiger Creek Preserve, Saddle Blanket Lakes Scrub Preserve, Lake Arbuckle State Forest and State Park, Lake Louisa State Park, Highland Hammock State Park, and Bok Tower Gardens. However, few localities are protected from future development (Christman 1992).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Bartlett, R.D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Florida Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas.

Christman, S.P. 1992. Sand skink Neoseps reynoldsi Stejneger. In: P.E. Moler (ed.) Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol III. Amphibians and Reptiles, pp. 135-140. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 1987. Determination of threatened status for two Florida lizards. Federal Register 52: 42658-42662.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program: report to Congress. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1998. Multi-species recovery plan for the threatened and endangered species of South Florida. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Neoseps reynoldsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T14564A4444778. . Downloaded on 05 October 2015.
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