Virginia Lizard Identification Keys

Directions:

The identification keys are based on color, pattern and other physical characteristics. Each lizard identification section has two options. Follow the options through the sections.

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  • A - Small brown skink with a snout-to-vent length of less than 50mm (2 inches). Two thin, dark dorsolateral stripes. Frontonasal scale in contact with the rostral scale. Supranasal scales are absent. - Little Brown Skink (Scincella lateralis)

  • B - Small to large skinks with whitish longitudinal stripes. (Stripes may be obscure or absent in older adults.) Frontonasal scale separated from the rostral scale by a pair of supranasal scales. - Click Here - Section 6


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  • A - The midventral row of scales on the tail are about the same size as the other scales on the tail. A dorsolateral light stripe found on scale rows four and five (counting from the dorsal midline). The number of scale rows around the tail, 10 scales posterior to the anal plate is usually greater than eighteen. - Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon inexpectatus)

  • B - The midventral row of scales on the tail are much wider than the other scales on the tail. A dorsolateral light stripe found on scale rows three and four (counting from the dorsal midline). The number of scale rows around the tail, 10 scales posterior to the anal plate is less than or equal to eighteen.  - Click Here - Section 8


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  • A - The posterior most supralabial scale is separated from the temporal scale by at least one, usually two enlarged postlabial scales. There are usually four preorbital supralabial scales on one side. The scales around the tail, 10 scales posterior to the anal plate usually 14 to 16. - Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

  • B - The posterior most supralabial scale is usually not separated from the temporal scale by enlarged postlabial scales, but usually in contact; 5 preorbital supralabial scales on one side. The scales around the tail, 10 scales posterior to the anal plate usually 17 to 18. - Broad-beaded Skink (Plestiodon laticeps)



  • Acknowledgements:

    This online lizard identification key is based on the identification key by Joe Mitchell as found in his book - Mitchell, Joseph C. 1994. The Reptiles of Virginia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 352 pages.

    Special thanks to Mike J. Pinder and Megan G. Rollins for the use of their illustrations.

    Last update: 03/13/2017

FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.

BOX TURTLE REPORTING

SPADEFOOT REPORTING

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