Great Basin Skink

Plestiodon skiltonianus utahensis

(Eumeces skiltonianus utahensis)

Great Basin Skink

Distribution in Wyoming









            *Above image use permission granted, © Charlotte Matthews.


(Click on any photo to enlarge it and display it in its own frame.)

The Great Basin Skink is a subspecies of the Western Skink, whose larger distribution runs from southern British Columbia through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana into California, Nevada and Utah. It is a new species to Wyoming and first documented in 2010 in the Bear River and Smith’s Fork River drainages near Cokeville (personal communication, Zack Walker, WGFD). This peripheral species of the extreme western edge of the state prefers rocky streamside habitats and the rock outcrops, talus slopes, and open areas associated with coniferous woodland.

Like others of its kind, this skink has a long cylindrical body with a long tail and short legs. It has a SVL of 2-3 inches with a total length of about 7 inches. The dorsal surface has a dark tan or brown midline stripe with a pair of light and dark longitudinal stripes along the sides. The belly is white or light gray and often has a blue or greenish tint. The scales are small and smooth giving the body a glossy appearance. The tail of juveniles and young males is blue but darkens and fades with age.

They are diurnal and feed on crickets, spiders, and small insects, but they spend most of their time hiding under rocks, boards, rotting logs, and other available cover.

Great Basin Skink Great Basin Skink

*Permission granted for use of the above two images, © Leslie Schreiber.