Eumeces laticeps Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
This is the largest of Florida’s skinks – some individuals are more than a foot long. Males are brown with a heavy, broad-jawed head, which becomes bright red during the breeding season. Females are brown with two yellow stripes on the sides of the body and a faint stripe down the center of the back.
Broadheaded skinks are common in mesic (moist) hammocks; if you look carefully you may see them sunning themselves high up in the trees. They are highly arboreal and often run up a tree when alarmed.
These large skinks feed mainly on beetles, beetle larvae, and wasp larvae.
During the April-May breeding season males compete energetically with one another for the right to mate. Females breed only once a year, and larger females lay larger clutches so males compete feverishly for larger females.
The female lays up to 15 eggs in a nest chamber and usually stays coiled around the eggs for the 55-65 day incubation period.
These skinks are quite common in wooded areas on the University of Florida Campus.
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