Red-headed Lizard

Broad-headed skink with red head
As I was writing the previous post, there was a cool looking lizard with a red head lounging on the patio. I am new to northeast Florida and hadn’t seen this variety before. He scooted away when a small bird landed nearby.

Quick bit of research indicates this was a male broad-headed skink. Apparently this is the same fellow I sought to identify the other day, except now he’s got a big red head. I gather this is a springtime thing.

I didn’t take photos, but the first photo below is what I just saw and the second photo is more like what he looked like a short while ago.

Broad-headed skink

Update: Now he’s back and he’s found a mate. They are getting busy as I type this. She is much smaller and her head is not so red. Here’s a picture. They lounged about in the sun afterwards for quite a while before wandering off. Part of the time, they were snuggled up against one another.

Skinks Mating in Northeast Florida

Skinks lounging in the sun

21 thoughts on “Red-headed Lizard”

  1. We found two mates in De Soto, Missouri. Today they are huge but what’s the technical name for these lil guys

    1. By ‘technical name’, you mean scientific name? I believe it’s ‘Eumeces laticeps’, but I’ve also seen this name, too, ‘Plestiodon laticeps’. Not sure which is right.

      From your response and the prior one and search results from all over the country that these guys can be found all over the country.

  2. Cleaning up my yard today when I saw a very unusual lizard laying out on one of the branches in a pile of cut down limbs. Started to research what kind of lizard it was when I found this web page. I’m from Alex., La. Seems like these little guys are making they’re way around the country. First time seeing them around here. Very odd.

    1. That’s neat. Mine are back again this year. I guess they hibernate or something. But once the weather gets warm, they start scurrying around. I think I have a family of them living on the patio somewhere. There are a bunch of them of varying sizes. The biggest ones are now quite large – I’d say 8″ long. Maybe bigger.

  3. Have a black with red head on my patio, driving my little dog crazy. Is it poisonous, just in case she catches it?
    Please let me know.

  4. I saw one that was about 8 inches with a bright red head a couple of months ago, I tried to catch it with some leather gloves on but it’s like theses things are greased!! Ha
    I just caught one one the other end of my property today when he ran out of a burn pile that I set fire to. These things will bite, but I had on my gloves so no biggie. Is anyone selling them as pets? I am in Bastrop Louisiana.

  5. Miami, Oklahoma May 2015. Found two red headed lizard or skinks in my father in laws garage today. Had never seen these before, was so neat. They had fell down inside a deep box so as a Biologists I was happy to release them. Wish I had used my phone for a picture.

  6. my mother and little sister found themselves stuck with one right smack in the middle of our sis is scared of lizards ENTIRELY, so my mom took pics, they shewed it off and went inside ,of course,but when i got home from school , she showed me the lizard pics.I was surprised when i saw them , because the thing was huge! I live in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

  7. I have at least one pair of these things living around and o my deck. You can have them. They are giant skinks. I measured one when he was on the window screen. From its ugly red head to its tail tip was 12 inches and now someone says they bite. All my little green lizards have disappeared. Did these monsters eat them or run them off? How do I get rid of them? I have pictures.

    1. Like most other lizards, skinks eat insects mostly, so I don’t think they’d have eaten your green lizards. I don’t know that they would have run the green ones off either. In my yard, we still have the skinks and we have lots of other lizards, too. If you have any snakes around, they eat lizards. Or certain kinds of birds do also, like hawks. They are definitely not going to go out of their way to bite you. That’s only going to happen if you try pick it up in your hands. If you do that, then yes, it might try to defend itself and bite you. Pretty much any animal is going to do that. Hopefully you can come to terms with them living near you. I think they are very cool and interesting. Thanks for your comment.

  8. I remember seeing a lot of this lizards when I was growing up at my grandparents. I use to shoot them for fun cause they had to many. I thought it was normal to have these things around but as I got older now 31 I found out not to many places has them around cause all people I shared that with never saw them. This was outside a small town on the bayou of Jeanerette.

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