Bermuda Skink (Plestiodon longirostris)
The Bermuda Skink (Plestiodon longirostris) or Bermuda Rock Lizard is one of the rarest lizards in the world. Adult males and females have shiny brown or black body scales, a pale belly and an orange throat patch. They can grow up to 8 inches long. Juveniles have coppery scales, a pale belly, and have black and cream coloured stripes running down both sides of their body. Baby skinks have bright blue tails, which they use to confuse predators (who bite the tail instead of their head). The skink then escapes and grows a new tail.
Skinks usually stay on the ground or crawl up onto rocks to bathe in the sun, and are found living in small patches all over Bermuda on the rocky shorelines as well as on small islands. While the total island’s population of skinks is unknown, most live in Spittal Pond Nature Reserve and on the Castle Harbour Islands. If you see a skink you can report it by contacting the Department of Conservation Services.
Bermuda Skinks are considered critically endangered and face many threats. Loss of natural habitat through building and development, predation from rats, cats and kiskadees, and entrapment in litter (like glass bottles) all affect the survival of our skinks. The Bermuda Skink is protected under the Bermuda Protected Species Act 2003.
Learn More About Skinks:
- Protected Species Recovery Plan for the Bermuda Skink
- Bermuda Biodiversity Project Species Profile for the Bermuda Skink
- See other Bermuda Lizards on our Lizards page