Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Plestiodon septentrionalis - A Living Relative of Apsgnathus triptodon

Expand Messages
  • Neal Robbins
          These links have photos of Plestiodon septentrionalis. http://www.naherp.com/photo.php?v_id=24704 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prairie_skink.jpg
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 16, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
       
          These links have photos of Plestiodon septentrionalis.
       
       
          Plestiodon septentrionalis is a living relative of the Cretaceous lizard Apsgnathus triptodon. Both are in the infraorder Scincomorpha. Plestiodon septentrionalis is a member of the family Scincidae. Apsgnathus triptodon has not yet been assigned to a particular family.
          Plestiodon septentrionalis is native to North America. There are two subspecies, P.s. septentrionalis (Northern Prairie Skink) and P.s. obtusirostris (Southern Prairie Skink). The range of P.s. septentrionalis goes from Kansas to western Wisconsin and Minnesota. P.s. obtusirostris ranges from south-central Kansas to east-central Texas.
          The total length of P.s. septentrionalis is 13.3-22.4 cm. P.s. obtusirostris is 12.5-17.8 cm. long. The coloration of Plestiodon septentrionalis is olive-brown or gray. There are alternating stripes of light olive to black. These stripes go from the body onto the tail. The chest, belly, throat, chin, and soles of the feet are generally creamy or pale yellow. The limbs of Plestiodon septentrionalis are darker above than below. The tail comprises about half of the length of this lizard. Females are larger than males. Juveniles have a bright tail. Mid-dorsal markings are absent or greatly reduced on E.s. obtusirostris.
          Plestiodon septentrionalis hibernates in a burrow for seven months of the year. It comes out of hibernation between late April and the early part of May. The male does a courtship display for up to 15 minutes. He arches his tail and nudges the female's torso.
          The pregnant female excavates a shallow nest in soil that is moist and loose. After an interval of about 40 days, she lays a clutch of 4-18 eggs. Larger females lay especially big numbers of eggs. The eggs incubate for about 30 days and then hatch. A female can sense subtle changes in levels of humidity. She uses her nose, mouth or tail to move eggs by rolling them around the nest site. When the hatchlings emerge, the female leaves the nest and the offspring are on their own. They reach breeding maturity at about two years of age.
          Plestiodon septentrionalis hunts for food from mid-morning to the middle of the afternoon. The menu includes various types of prey, for example, insects, spiders, snails, and small lizards. If the tail of Plestiodon septentrionalis is bitten off by a pursuing predator, a new tail will grow back in its place.  
       
          These publications are references:
       
      http://www.arkive.org/ Arkive - Plestiodon septentrionalis
       
      IUCN Red List (August, 2011)
       
      R. Conant and J.T. Collins (1998) A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, New York.
       
      NatureNorth - Biology of the northern prairie skink (August, 2011)
       
      NatureServe Explorer (August 2011)
       
      Missouri Prairie Foundation (August, 2011) 
       
          Neal Robbins
    • Neal Robbins
            These links have photos of Plestiodon septentrionalis. http://www.naherp.com/photo.php?v_id=24704 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prairie_skink.jpg
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 18, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
         
            These links have photos of Plestiodon septentrionalis.
         
         
            Plestiodon septentrionalis is a living relative of the Cretaceous lizard Apsgnathus triptodon. Both are in the infraorder Scincomorpha. Plestiodon septentrionalis is a member of the family Scincidae. Apsgnathus triptodon has not yet been assigned to a particular family.
            Plestiodon septentrionalis is native to North America. There are two subspecies, P.s. septentrionalis (Northern Prairie Skink) and P.s. obtusirostris (Southern Prairie Skink). The range of P.s. septentrionalis goes from Kansas to western Wisconsin and Minnesota. P.s. obtusirostris ranges from south-central Kansas to east-central Texas.
            The total length of P.s. septentrionalis is 13.3-22.4 cm. P.s. obtusirostris is 12.5-17.8 cm. long. The coloration of Plestiodon septentrionalis is olive-brown or gray. There are alternating stripes of light olive to black. These stripes go from the body onto the tail. The chest, belly, throat, chin, and soles of the feet are generally creamy or pale yellow. The limbs of Plestiodon septentrionalis are darker above than below. The tail comprises about half of the length of this lizard. Females are larger than males. Juveniles have a bright tail. Mid-dorsal markings are absent or greatly reduced on E.s. obtusirostris.
            Plestiodon septentrionalis hibernates in a burrow for seven months of the year. It comes out of hibernation between late April and the early part of May. The male does a courtship display for up to 15 minutes. He arches his tail and nudges the female's torso.
            The pregnant female excavates a shallow nest in soil that is moist and loose. After an interval of about 40 days, she lays a clutch of 4-18 eggs. Larger females lay especially big numbers of eggs. The eggs incubate for about 30 days and then hatch. A female can sense subtle changes in levels of humidity. She uses her nose, mouth or tail to move eggs by rolling them around the nest site. When the hatchlings emerge, the female leaves the nest and the offspring are on their own. They reach breeding maturity at about two years of age.
            Plestiodon septentrionalis hunts for food from mid-morning to the middle of the afternoon. The menu includes various types of prey, for example, insects, spiders, snails, and small lizards. If the tail of Plestiodon septentrionalis is bitten off by a pursuing predator, a new tail will grow back in its place.  
         
            These publications are references:
         
        http://www.arkive.org/ Arkive - Plestiodon septentrionalis
         
        IUCN Red List (August, 2011)
         
        R. Conant and J.T. Collins (1998) A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, New York.
         
        NatureNorth - Biology of the northern prairie skink (August, 2011)
         
        NatureServe Explorer (August 2011)
         
        Missouri Prairie Foundation (August, 2011) 
         
            Neal Robbins
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.