Q: I was in the process of moving plants in a container and lo and behold a lizard scrambled out. It had a blue tail so I assume it is a blue-tailed skink. After moving the plant I found a clutch of eggs in the soil! They looked WAAAYY too big to come from her but I believe they are hers.
Now I have rigged up a lawn chair with plastic over it to keep the rain off in hopes she’ll return to the maternity ward. Do you know the “hatching time” for the eggs? I hope my plants survive long enough for them to hatch.
A: I’d bet you have a five-lined skink or a southeastern skink. They differ from each other slightly but both have blue tails. They, and other lizards of the southeast, eat crickets grasshoppers and spiders.
All are protected species and should not be trapped or harmed. Female skinks lay their eggs in a sheltered spot, usually in a rotten log, and stay with them until they hatch. Since the creatures are cold-blooded, they aren’t providing warmth to the eggs. They might instead be monitoring and influencing the humidity around their brood.
The incubation period is thirty to fifty days, depending on the warmth of the site where they are laid. The mother will abandon her offspring as soon as they hatch. Good luck!