Broad-headed Skink

Plestiodon laticeps


The Broad-headed Skink, aptly named for the large heads of the males during breeding season, range throughout Mississippi. This skink is unique from other similar-looking species in having five labial scales. Adults and juveniles have five light lines along the back. These counts and traits may vary in the field and should be noted when attempting identification. Juveniles are brightly patterned, with bold, contrasting lines and bright blue tails. Lines on adults fade with age. They may be encountered in forests, swamps, and urban parks and landscaping. 

Broad-headed Skink from an urban park, Nashville (TN)

Identifying Traits

  • Five thinner light lines on back
  • Five labial scales, lack of enlarged postlabial scales
  • Central row of of wider scales under tail


Wooded areas and swamps, may be found in urban areas


Diurnally active, quick to drop tail if pinned by a predator


Small invertebrates