Rainbow Skink

Trachylepis margaritifera

The Rainbow Skink, or Five-lined Skink, is an active lizard occurring in rocky terrain in savanna habitats from Kwazulu-Natal, through the Lowveld and Limpopo Valley to as far north as Kenya. They feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates. Males are territorial. Females lay one, perhaps two, clutches of 6-10 eggs in summer, with the baby skinks emerging around two months later. Females, adolescents and immature males exhibit the distinct lines and brilliant blue tails associated with this species, while the adult males have an olive base-colouration speckled with tiny white spots. Adults may grow to 20cm in length, including the tail. The IUCN lists the Rainbow Skink as being of least concern.

19 thoughts on “Rainbow Skink

  1. Birder's Journey

    Beautiful shots! How interesting that only the females and young have that distinctive stripe and the male coloring is more muted. Is this common in reptiles and amphibians? I’m so accustomed to (usually) seeing the more showy colors in male birds.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We only have a few reptiles with bright colours here, and in the majority of the cases it’s the males that are showy. In this species the sexes are so dimorphic that they could easily be confused for different species!

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  2. Anne

    I have always enjoyed seeing these skinks – mostly in the KNP though, which is too far away to visit as often as I would like. Thank you for sharing these delightful photographs.

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  3. Beth

    We have a brilliant teal skink in India. I wish I could get a picture of it for you. Note that they are able to rise on those legs to move without getting down in the dust. A thought, but not necessarily a provable one: Genesis 3:14 (KJV).

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