The Prairie Skink is the only lizard species found at the Saint John's Arboretum, and the only native lizard commonly seen in Minnesota. This reptile is very alert, and often spotted making a rapid retreat for shelter. Normally 10 to 20 cm in length, adult Prairie Skinks are dark with light silvery stripes down the back and sides fading into a light colored belly. Young skinks can be distinguished by their bright blue tails that slowly fade with age.
Prairie Skinks thrive in dry areas, around tree stumps, and in man-made shelters. Males can be distinguished in late May by the bright orange coloration of their chin and throat area. This is used to attract females and intimidate other males during the breeding season.