Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Swamp Lizard

We saw this little fellow at the Jean Lafitte Preserve last week.


tim eisele said...

I love lizards. Which is why it makes me sad that Michigan is pretty much lizardless.

(I have a field guide called "Michigan Turtles and Lizards", but it would more accurately be named "Michigan Turtles and Lizard", because there is only one species of lizard in the state. Oh, they claim that there are two species, but one of them is a few isolated sightings in a single county that might have been due to somebody intentionally releasing them, so I don't think that really counts).

K T Cat said...

How do they survive the winter? I'd think the fluids in their bodies would crystallize and break their cell walls. Since they have no insulation to speak of, I can't imagine them being able to prevent it.

tim eisele said...

Yes, that's why there's only the one common species - Five-Lined Skinks[1]. It sounds like they hibernate in holes and rotting logs below the frost line, like the local snakes do. Even so, it looks like the skinks have never made it up here to the Upper Peninsula.

[1] That link also mentions the "six-lined racerunner", that's the one that I have my doubts about being an actual established species in the state. It looks like the last time one was spotted in the wild in Michigan was 2004