Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by P. Dotson
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The western skink, Eumeces skiltonianus, occurs throughout much of the western United States, as well as in parts of Baja California and southwestern Canada. In Utah, the species occurs in the western part of the state, where it is usually found in scrub oak, sagebrush, grassland, or juniper habitats. Western skinks are active during the day, but are rarely seen due to their secretive nature; they often dig burrows in the soil.

The race of the western skink that occurs in Utah, the Great Basin skink, mates in May or June. Females lay two to six eggs under rocks or in burrows during July, and the young hatch in August. Western skinks eat a variety of invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and worms. Western skinks can be distinguished from many-lined skinks because of the broad brown stripe that runs down their backs. The tails of western skinks are gray or blue in color.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.