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Plestiodon fasciatus (LINNAEUS, 1758)

IUCN Red List - Plestiodon fasciatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Five-lined Skink 
SynonymLacerta fasciata LINNAEUS 1758: 209
? Lacerta quinquelineata LINNAEUS 1766 (see comment)
Lacerta fasciata — MEYER 1795: 29
Lacerta quinquelineata — MEYER 1795: 29
Eumeces fasciatus — HEILPRIN 1888: 26
Eumeces fasciatus — TAYLOR 1936: 188
Eumeces fasciatus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 128
Eumeces fasciatus — GRIFFITH, NGO & MURPHY 2000
Eumeces fasciatus — WHITING et al. 2003
Plestiodon fasciatus — SCHMITZ et al. 2004
Eumeces fasciatus — JENSEN et al. 2008: 308 
DistributionUSA (E Texas, E Oklahoma, E Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, S Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Nebraska, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, W Connecticut, W Massachusetts, S Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, N Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan), SE Canada (S Ontario)

Type locality: “Carolina”  
TypesHolotype: Iconotype: based on illustration by Catesby (1734-1743); see Bauer (2012). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis of the genus Eumeces (fide GRIFFITH et al. 2000): 26 – 34 presacral vertebrae. Limbs relatively slender, lamellae not expanded. Head somewhat depressed in lateral view. Skull with unindented parietal bones and near-complete or full closure of supratemporal fontanelle. Conspicuous sexual dimorphism (except in E. egregius, E. longirostris); males with proportionally larger, broader heads, due to expansion of quadrate bones and adductor mandibularis muscles. Scales of head smooth and shiny, not separated by deep sutures. Two loreals, followed by two presuboculars. Postnasal present or absent. Palpebral and superciliary scales not separated by groove. One to two pairs of nuchal scales. Mid-dorsal scales not broadened, not fused. Lateral preanal scales overlie medial preanal scales (convergent with some sphenomorphine lygosomines). Ear lobules inconspicuous. Juveniles dark, usually strongly striped, tails brilliantly colored, adults show reduction or loss of striping and tail coloration. From temperate North America south to northern Central America, Bermuda, and eastern Asia. 
CommentIt is uncertain whether the name L. quinquelineata is now referable to fasciata or to Scincus laticeps Schneider (1801), revived by Taylor (1932) as a member of the fasciatus complex, but there has never been any question that it applies to some member of that complex [SMITH 2005].

Type Species: GRIFFITH et al. (2000) designated Lacerta fasciata LINNAEUS 1758 as type species of the genus Eumeces with the following diagnosis of the genus Eumeces.

Type species: there is no type species of the genus Plestiodon. “The type has been lost and there is a confusing history of the name regardless.  The type was collected from the Carolinas and it was a classic five stripe with blue tail phenotype so it must've been P. fasciatus, P. inexpectatus, or P. laticeps.  Linneaus named it Plestiodon quinquelineatus.” (Matt Brandley, pers. comm. 22 Feb 2015). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin fascia = band, for the dorsal stripes in this species. 
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