Plestiodon fasciatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Plestiodon fasciatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Common Five-lined Skink, Five-lined Skink
Eumeces fasciatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lacerta fasciata Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Notes: In a phylogenetic analysis of Eumeces based on morphology, Griffith et al. (2000) proposed splitting Eumeces into multiple genera, based on the apparent paraphyly of Eumeces. Smith (2005) and Brandley et al. (2005) formally proposed that all North American species (north of Mexico) be placed in the genus Plestiodon. This was accepted by Crother (2008) and Collins and Taggart (2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs widely in the eastern United States, and extending into southern Canada. Its geographic range extends from western New England and southern Ontario to Minnesota, and south through eastern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma to eastern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and northern peninsular Florida (Conant and Collins 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by very many occurrences or subpopulations. For example, Trauth et al. (2004) mapped hundreds of collection sites in Arkansas alone. The total adult population size is unknown but undoubtedly exceeds 100,000, and is probably in the millions. The species tends to be common in most of the large range. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are large and probably relatively stable or slowly declining.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This lizard inhabits wooded areas of many kinds, especially those that are humid, well-drained, supply abundant cover (rocks, logs, stumps, leaf litter), and have a patchy canopy; it also occupies seasonally flooded lowlands in some areas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It is generally terrestrial but also climbs trees (distinctly arboreal in Texas). Generally secretive, it spends much time under cover. Eggs are laid in or under rotting logs, stumps, or humus, or under rocks (Fitch 1954, Vogt 1981). In Ontario, preferred nest sites were large, moderately decayed logs with high substrate moisture (Hecnar 1994). Oviposition sites may be outside the non-nesting home range (Seburn 1993).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This lizard occurs in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)

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

Bibliography [top]

Bartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp.

Brandley, M.C., Schmitz, A. and Reeder, T. W. 2005. Partitioned Bayesian analyses, partition choice, and the phylogenetic relationships of scincid lizards. Systematic Biology 54: 373-390.

Collins, J.T. and Taggart, T.W. 2009. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians. Sixth edition. The Center for North American Herpetology, Lawrance, Kansas.

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.

Crother, B. I. (ed.). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37: 1-84.

Fitch, H.S. 1954. Life history and ecology of the five- lined skink, Eumeces fasciatus. Univ. Kansas Pub. Mus. Nat.Hist. 8: 1-156.

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

Seburn, C.N.L. 1993. Spatial distribution and microhabitat use in the five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 445-450.

Smith, H. 2005. Plestiodon: a replacement name for most members of the genus Eumeces in North America. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 14: 15-16.

Trauth, S.E., Robison, H.W. and Plummer, M.V. 2004. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Vogt, R.C. 1981. Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Plestiodon fasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64227A12756007. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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