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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Common Garden Skink Facts You’ll Never Forget

Find amazing Common Garden Skink facts here

The Common Garden Skink, also known as the Penny Lizard, is a small lizard with a long tail, that is local to suburban backyards. Places with trees, leaves, and soft soil are ideal for Garden Skinks to breed in. They are commonly found in most parts of Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and the eastern parts of the USA.

A Garden Skink is also sometimes called a Pale Flecked Garden Sunskink because of its love for basking in the sun, which provides a primary energy source for the reptile. They have naturally dual-colored skin, featuring the colors grey-orange, copper, and brown-black. Garden Skinks have shiny, scaled bodies with tiny limbs and may look like snakes but they are non-venomous. The Garden Skink's predators are mainly birds and larger animals like snakes, cats, or dogs. Like other Skinks, they can detach their tails to trick predators, knowing that a new tail will eventually grow back within time.

If you like these exciting facts on the Common Garden Skink, you might also like our articles on the desert tortoise and the Caiman lizard.

Common Garden Skink Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Common Garden Skink?

Common Garden Skinks are lizards from the Scincidae family.

What class of animal does a Common Garden Skink belong to?

Garden Skinks can be classified as reptiles belonging to the Reptilia class.

How many Common Garden Skinks are there in the world?

The word 'Common' in the animal's name itself suggests how common Garden Skinks are. They're found in plenty of rocky, hot, and dusty areas.

Where does a Common Garden Skink live?

The Pale Flecked Garden Sunskink or the Common Garden Skink trends to live in suburban backyards, you will most likely find them in a sunny spot!

What is a Common Garden Skink's habitat?

Garden Skinks enjoy leafy, soft soils. Skinks are often seen in enclosed spaces under leaves, in long grass, and between rocks. They also hide around hot and dusty areas with trees and wood logs and are known for their love of basking in the sun.

Who do Common Garden Skinks live with?

Common Garden Skinks can live alongside humans since they are often found in suburban backyards.

How long does a Common Garden Skink live?

Common Garden Skinks have a short lifespan and often live for between two and three years.

How do they reproduce?

Being oviparous, the female Pale Flecked Garden Skink lays small white eggs between summer and mid-autumn, usually in communal clutches (the number of eggs laid in a batch) of six eggs each. They can lay a total of about 250 eggs hidden under rocks and enclosed spaces to keep them safe from predators. A Common Garden Skink egg hatches a few weeks after it is laid.

What is their conservation status?

Since Garden Skinks are commonly found in suburban backyards, their conservation status is currently Least Concern.

Common Garden Skink Fun facts

What do Common Garden Skinks look like?

Find fun and amazing Common Garden Skinks facts for kids here.

Common Garden Skinks are small lizards with long tails. They have smooth scaled skin and come in mixed colors of brown and black. They also may appear a dark shade of red or copper while sunbathing. Although male and female species of Garden skinks do not have different names, they differ in their underside's looks. The male Garden Skink has a light greyish shade here, and the female has a yellowish-orange shade. They have four legs with five toes on each foot.

How cute are they?

Garden Skinks are tiny lizards so their small size makes them pretty cute if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one!

How do they communicate?

Garden Skinks use a chemical process of communication. With a great sense of smell, they can easily detect chemicals in the environment. They release chemicals called pheromones through their glands, and poop which can be a mode of communicating with other Skinks.

How big is a Common Garden Skink?

Garden Skinks are 3-4 in (8-10 cm) long. They sometimes appear to be bigger than this because of their long tails.

How fast can a Common Garden Skink move?

Garden Skinks are swift and light weighted reptiles that move around very quickly. They hunt and eat prey within the blink of an eye and are especially fast when they sense trouble.

How much does a Common Garden Skink weigh?

Garden Skinks are super light, weighing between 0.01-0.02 lb (5-8 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Garden Skinks do not have male and female names and the males and females of this species can only be differed through skin color.

What would you call a baby Common Garden Skink?

Baby Common Garden Skinks are usually called Skinklets.

What do they eat?

Garden Skinks are insectivores and eat all kinds of invertebrates like earthworms, flies, grasshoppers, cockroaches, dandelions, small spiders, moths, slaters, grubs and caterpillars, earwigs, and small insects. Garden Skinks especially love bananas, berries, and cooked vegetable leftovers. Skinks will either hide and wait for the prey or hunt actively, depending on hunger and enthusiasm. Once the prey is found, they shake it around vigorously to kill it with their sharp little teeth and swallow it whole.

Are they poisonous?

So is a Common Garden Skink poisonous? Due to their snake-like appearance, most people think they are, but these little creatures are actually non-venomous. They may occasionally bite or sting but are not poisonous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Common Garden Skinks can be kept as pets but they must be provided with the right care and food. Those who enjoy having reptiles as pets will love Garden Skinks as their movements and actions are fascinating and fun to watch.

Did you know...

Some Garden Skinks have green blood due to an excess of the biliverdin pigment.

Garden Skinks are overly territorial and guard their nests against other male skinks during spring.

Garden Skinks can grow more than one tail. When their current tail is damaged a new tail may sprout, making it look like a little fork-tailed beast.

Skinks' tails are fat-storing organs and are very important to them. Even if they detach the tail in case of danger, some Garden Skinks go back to eat the detached tail later.

The Pale Flecked Garden Sunskink can also swim in water with its long tail.

Are common Garden Skinks good to have around?

Common Garden Skinks are good and beneficial to have around since they act as a natural pest control. They enjoy feeding on invertebrates like insects, grasshoppers, beetles, worms, cockroaches, snails, and slugs. We must be careful not to harm their natural habitat by cutting off trees in the backyard or spraying chemicals to get rid of pests.

How do Common Garden Skinks adapt and survive

Garden Skink's predators are mainly birds, cats, dogs, and larger reptiles like snakes. Even tiny birds like robins prey on Skinks. When it comes to tricking the predator though, nothing can match the Garden Skink. The Skink's tail will drop if grasped roughly by a predator and a new tail grows back in time.

If you are looking to have a pet Common Garden Skink, care must be taken to provide it with an ideal leafy and rocky environment. A primary threat to Garden Skinks is the loss of their natural habitat so you should avoid spraying chemical pesticides in areas Skinks may live.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including sand lizard facts, or bog turtle facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Common Garden Skink coloring pages.

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