WHILE HANGING THE CLOTHES ON THE LINE yesterday, I spotted a flash of bright blue on a nearby stump, actually one of my Buddha stumps. I dropped the towel back into the basket and went in the house for the camera. It had already been a day of pretty gifts with blue on them, the Dianas on the carport, and here was one more blue gift. It was a young Blue Tailed Skink. Now, really, isn't he really kinda pretty, for a lizard, I mean???
Blue-tailed skinks are usually about 4 to 8 centimeters long. This one was about 5 inches long. What is so cool about them, besides their color, is that if they become frightened they have the ability to pop their tail off and it will continue to wiggle and distract their predator while they run away! They then grow a new tail, which I understand looks more or less the same, but it does not have any vertebrae in it. I don't really remember if it has a piece of cartilage, but I know it does not regrow any bones.The young have a dark black body with bright yellow stripes leading from the back of the neck down to the meeting of the bright blue tail. Apparently as the juvenile males age, they lose their yellowish stripes and their back starts to become a brownish black color, and they begin to grow a reddish color underneath the neck during the mating seasons. It seems the females usually keep their blue tail for their whole life, though. The little guy I photographed has a hint of reddish orange around the head area. But I like the turquoise stripes leading to the blue tail.
We have had lots of these skinks around this year. I am sure they are usually around, it is just that I have not noticed so many before.
OK, don't forget to send me your "Gifts!" or post them on your blog and send me a link in the comment section!